Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society

Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society

1st Edition - November 21, 2014

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  • Editor-in-Chief: J.F. Shroder Jr.
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123964519
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123964748

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Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society provides analyses of environmentally related catastrophes within society in historical, political and economic contexts. Personal and corporate culture mediates how people may become more vulnerable or resilient to hazard exposure. Societies that strengthen themselves, or are strengthened, mitigate decline and resultant further exposure to what are largely human induced risks of environmental, social and economic degradation. This book outlines why it is important to explore in more depth the relationships between environmental hazards, risk and disasters in society. It presents challenges presented by mainstream and non-mainstream approaches to the human side of disaster studies. By hazard categories this book includes critical processes and outcomes that significantly disrupt human wellbeing over brief or long time-frames. Whilst hazards, risks and disasters impact society, individuals, groups, institutions and organisations offset the effects by becoming strong, healthy, resilient, caring and creative. Innovations can arise from social organisation in times of crisis. This volume includes much of use to practitioners and policy makers needing to address both prevention and response activities. Notably, as people better engage prevalent hazards and risks they exercise a process that has become known as disaster risk reduction (DRR). In a context of climatic risks this is also indicative of climate change adaptation (CCA). Ultimately it represents the quest for development of sustainable environmental and societal futures. Throughout the book cases studies are derived from the world of hazards risks and disasters in society.

Key Features

  • Includes sections on prevention of and response to hazards, risks and disasters
  • Provides case studies of prominent societal challenges of hazards, risks and disasters
  • Innovative approaches to dealing with disaster drawing from multiple disciplines and sectors


All scholars of disaster studies including of environmental scientists, sociologists, economists, anthropologist, economists and those focussing on rapidly emergent developmental aspects of the subject area

Table of Contents

    • Editorial Foreword
    • Chapter 1. Introduction: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society
      • 1.1. Opening
      • 1.2. Critical Processes and Outcomes of Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society
      • 1.3. Components of This Book
      • 1.4. Summary
    • Section I. Perspectives on People-Centred Prevention and Response to Natural Hazard
      • Chapter 2. Against the Drive for Institutionalization: Two Decades of Disaster Volunteers in Japan
        • 2.1. Introduction
        • 2.2. Action Research: An Example
        • 2.3. General Discussion and Conclusions
      • Chapter 3. Disastrous Disasters: A Polemic on Capitalism, Climate Change, and Humanitarianism
        • 3.1. Thesis 1: With the Rise of Capitalism, We have Gone from the Husbandry of Nature to the Production of Nature: That Change in Relationship to Nature Produces New Risks
        • 3.2. Thesis 2: The Unmet Challenge of Climate Change
        • 3.3. Thesis 3: Humanitarian Assistance Is a Core Tool of Western Countries' Foreign Policy
        • 3.4. Thesis 4: The Growth Industry of Humanitarianism and Accountability
        • 3.5. Thesis 5: Current Humanitarian Aid Is Dominated by a Growth in Local Wars
        • 3.6. Thesis 6: The NGOs as an Oligopoly
        • 3.7. Thesis 7: A Mistaken Belief Exists that First Responders, Be They Either Emergency Services or Humanitarian Agencies, Promote Community Well-being
        • 3.8. Toward a Conclusion
      • Chapter 4. Disaster Risk Governance: Evolution and Influences
        • 4.1. Introduction
        • 4.2. Evolution of Disaster Risk Governance
        • 4.3. Upward Disaster Risk Governance
        • 4.4. Outward Disaster Risk Governance: Mainstreaming
        • 4.5. Downward Disaster Risk Governance: Decentralization
        • 4.6. Conclusions
      • Chapter 5. Developing Sustainable Capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction in Southern Africa
        • 5.1. Introduction
        • 5.2. Setting the Context
        • 5.3. Challenges for Effective Disaster Risk Reduction in Southern Africa
        • 5.4. Addressing Capacity Development in Southern Africa
        • 5.5. Conclusion
      • Chapter 6. Understanding Rights-Based Approach in Disasters: A Case for Affirming Human Dignity
        • 6.1. Introduction
        • 6.2. Disasters, Vulnerability, and Rights: Forging Connections between Subaltern Agency and Dignified Recovery
        • 6.3. Rights-Based Approach in Disasters: The Need to Incorporate the Idea of “Subaltern” in Rights-Based Practice
        • 6.4. Subaltern Agency and Women Widowed in the Tsunami of December 2003 in India
        • 6.5. Understanding the Rights-Based Approach in Disasters: Some Learnings
      • Chapter 7. Reactive to Proactive to Reflective Disaster Responses: Introducing Critical Reflective Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction
        • 7.1. Introduction to “Natural” and Naturally Triggered Technical Disasters and Their Impact Worldwide
        • 7.2. The Perspective of “Reflective Response” in an Interconnected World
        • 7.3. Methodology and Methods to Promote Reflective Response
        • 7.4. The Usefulness of Reflective Response in DRR
        • 7.5. Conclusion: A Charter from Reflective Responses
    • Section II. Hazards in Social, Technological and Political-Economic Change
      • Chapter 8. Vulnerability, Coping and Loss and Damage from Climate Events
        • 8.1. Introduction
        • 8.2. Methods
        • 8.3. Descriptive Case Study Findings
        • 8.4. Vulnerability
        • 8.5. Impact of Climate Events
        • 8.6. Coping Strategies
        • 8.7. Loss and Damage
        • 8.8. Conclusions
        • Appendix: Thresholds for Vulnerability Indicators
      • Chapter 9. Flood Shelters in Bangladesh: Some Issues From the User’s Perspective
        • 9.1. Introduction
        • 9.2. Flood Shelters Typology in Bangladesh
        • 9.3. Approach and Methodology
        • 9.4. Findings and Analysis on the Selected Issues
        • 9.5. Conclusions
      • Chapter 10. Cyber-Security Hazards in Society
        • 10.1. Introduction
        • 10.2. The Lessons of History: Peelers and Armies, Enigma
        • 10.3. What We Know, What We Know We Do Not Know, What We Do Not Know
        • 10.4. Definition of Terms—Cyber-Security, Hazards, and Society
        • 10.5. Political Thought since the Greeks
        • 10.6. Physical versus Virtual Society (versus Spiritual)
        • 10.7. Backdrop
        • 10.8. The Life Hazard
        • 10.9. The Political Hazard
        • 10.10. The Military Hazard
        • 10.11. The Organizational Hazard
        • 10.12. The Hazard to Critical Infrastructure
        • 10.13. The Economy Hazard
        • 10.14. The Social Group Hazard
        • 10.15. The Technology Hazard
        • 10.16. The Environmental Hazard
        • 10.17. The Legal Hazard
        • 10.18. The Criminal Hazard
        • 10.19. The Moral Hazard
        • 10.20. Summary
        • 10.21. Conclusion
      • Chapter 11. Natural Disasters and Violent Conflicts
        • 11.1. Introduction
        • 11.2. Conclusion
      • Chapter 12. Everyday Practices and Symbolic Forms of Resistance: Adapting to Environmental Change in Coastal Louisiana
        • 12.1. Methodology
        • 12.2. Layered disasters
        • 12.3. The Impacts of Rapid Environmental Change
        • 12.4. The Social, Political, and Economic Context of Environmental Change
        • 12.5. The Politics of Coastal Restoration
        • 12.6. Resistance and Adaptation
        • 12.7. “Restoration” Instead of “Relocation”
        • 12.8. Conclusion
      • Chapter 13. Political Responses to Emergencies
        • 13.1. Introduction
        • 13.2. The Political Context of Disasters
        • 13.3. Centrism and Devolution
        • 13.4. Dictatorship, Democracy, and Disasters
        • 13.5. Disasters, Politics, and Ethics
        • 13.6. Corruption and Disasters
        • 13.7. Forgiveness Money
        • 13.8. The Politics of “Bounce Forward” in Disaster Risk Reduction
        • 13.9. The Global Politics of Disaster
        • 13.10. Conclusions
      • Chapter 14. Double Disaster: Disaster through a Gender Lens
        • 14.1. Introduction
        • 14.2. Why Should Disasters Be Understood as Gendered Events?
        • 14.3. Evidence for a Gendered Impact of Natural Hazards
        • 14.4. The Double Impact of Disasters on Women and Girls
        • 14.5. Gendered Capacities: Including Women and Girls in DRR
        • 14.6. “Engendering” Policy Initiatives
        • 14.7. Concluding Comments
    • Section III. Cross-Disciplinary and Non-Mainstream Futures of Dealing with Hazards, Risks and Disasters in Society
      • Chapter 15. Disaster Risk Reduction in the Shadow of the Law
        • 15.1. International Law
        • 15.2. Domestic Law
        • 15.2.1. Legislation
        • 15.3. The Common Law
        • 15.4. Discussion
        • 15.5. Conclusion
      • Chapter 16. Self-Care in Bangladesh: Local Level Resilience and Risk Reduction
        • 16.1. Introduction
        • 16.2. Self-Care: Definitions and Theoretical Perspectives
        • 16.3. Research Context and Methods
        • 16.4. The Prevalence of Self-Care at the Local Level
        • 16.5. The Value of Local Knowledge and Local Practice
        • 16.6. Empowerment and Dignity
        • 16.7. Self-Care as a Low-Cost, Manifold Strategy
        • 16.8. Coping with Environmental Hazards through Self-Care
        • 16.9. Conclusion
      • Chapter 17. Culture: The Crucial Factor in Hazard, Risk, and Disaster Recovery: The Anthropological Perspective
        • 17.1. Introduction
        • 17.2. Some Essential Ways in which Culture Matters
        • 17.3. Other Underlying Cultural Factors and Their Impact
        • 17.4. The Two Levels of Culture and Some Cultural Universals
      • Chapter 18. Risk, Resilience, and Readiness: Developing an All-Hazards Perspective
        • 18.1. Introduction
        • 18.2. Conceptualizing Readiness
        • 18.3. Accounting for Differences in Readiness
        • 18.4. Individual Predictors
        • 18.5. Family and Community Predictors
        • 18.6. Conclusion
      • Chapter 19. Interpretative Frameworks of Disaster in Society Close-up
        • 19.1. Introduction: (Re)presenting a Disaster
        • 19.2. Base Layer: The Background of the Nuclear Disaster
        • 19.3. Spatiotemporal Layer: Drawing the Distances of the Nuclear Disaster
        • 19.4. Scientific Layer: Visualizing the Arbitrary Breadths of the Nuclear Disaster
        • 19.5. Sociopolitical Layer: Circulating Rumors and Encircling the Invisible Threat
        • 19.6. Territorial Palimpsest: Minamisoma Closed-Up
        • 19.7. Conclusion: Signs of Maps and Signs in Maps: Semiotic Reterritorialization
      • Chapter 20. Therapeutic Communities in the Context of Disaster
        • 20.1. Defining the “Therapeutic Community”
        • 20.2. Conditions under which the Therapeutic Community Arises in Disasters
        • 20.3. Consequences of the Therapeutic Community
        • 20.4. Practical Implications
        • 20.5. Research Recommendations
      • Chapter 21. View of Abrahamic Religions on Natural Disaster Risk Reduction
        • 21.1. Introduction
        • 21.2. Key Elements of Disaster Risk Reduction
        • 21.3. Key Concepts in Abrahamic Belief
        • 21.4. The Qur'anic View of Earthquakes
        • 21.5. Correlation between God's Guidance and Risk-Reduction Principles
        • 21.6. Noah's Ark: A Clear Example of How to be Safe in Disaster
        • 21.7. Conclusion
      • Chapter 22. Conclusion: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society
        • 22.1. More on the Approach
        • 22.2. Need for a New Discourse
        • 22.3. Further Summative Outflow of This Volume
        • 22.4. Improved Dealing with Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 424
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2014
  • Published: November 21, 2014
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123964519
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123964748

About the Editor in Chief

J.F. Shroder Jr.

J.F. Shroder Jr.
Dr. John (Jack) F. Shroder received his bachelor’s degree in geology from Union College in 1961; his masters in geology from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 1963, and his Ph.D. in geology at the University of Utah in 1967. He has been actively pursuing research on landforms and natural resources in the high mountain environments of the Rocky Mountains, the Afghanistan Hindu Kush, and the Karakoram Himalaya of Pakistan for over a half century. His teaching specialties have been primarily geomorphology, but also physical and historical geology and several other courses at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he was the founding professor of the Geology major. While there he was instrumental in founding the Center for Afghanistan Studies in 1972, and he was the lead geologist for the Bethsaida Archaeological Project in Israel in the 1990s. He taught geology as an NSF-, USAID, and Fulbright-sponsored professor at Kabul University in 1977-78, as well as a Fulbright award to Peshawar University in 1983-84. He has some 63 written or edited books to his credit and more than 200 professional papers, with emphases on landslides, glaciers, flooding, and mineral resources in Afghanistan. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received Distinguished Career awards from both the Mountain and the Geomorphology Specialty Groups of the Association of American Geographers. In the recent decade as an Emeritus Professor, he served as a Trustee of the Geological Society of America Foundation where he set up a research scholarship, the Shroder Mass Movement award for masters and doctoral candidates. For the past two decades, he has been the Editor-in-Chief for the Developments in Earth Surface Processes book series of Elsevier Publishing, as well as the 10-volumes of the Treatise on Geomorphology, and the Hazards, Risks, and Disasters book series, both in second editions. Recently, Dr. Shroder was ranked among the top 2 percent of researchers worldwide by the October study conducted by Stanford University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Research Scholar, Center for Afghanistan Studies, Emeritus Professor of Geography and Geology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE, USA

About the Editors

Andrew Collins

Affiliations and Expertise

Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom

Jones Samantha

Affiliations and Expertise

Environmental Management and Geography and Environmental Management, Northumbria University, Newcastle

Bernard Manyena

Affiliations and Expertise

Dr Bernard Manyena - HCRI Deputy Director of Postgraduate Teaching, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester, UK

Janaka Jayawickrama

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