Disaster Emergency Management

The Emergence of Professional Help Services for Victims of Natural Disasters

Liza Ireni Saban

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State University of New York Press img Link Publisher

Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Politikwissenschaft


Survival in times of disaster is a question of utmost importance to both the victims of those events and to the professionals and people in authority who are there to serve them. In Disaster Emergency Management, Liza Ireni Saban examines what leads some nations, communities, and individuals to rise to the occasion during these times of trauma, while others do not. Utilizing case studies of China, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States, she focuses in particular on the dilemma faced by local emergency officials who, rather than elected officials, find themselves "on the front lines," suddenly confronted with complex public problems. Recent studies have pointed to a breakdown of government and bureaucratic decision making in the face of intense crisis situations. Saban demonstrates the inadequacies of grappling with what are in truth contested ethical issues within a framework whose approach is technical-rational. She draws on communitarian ethics to redefine the role of the bureaucrat so that community resilience, through attention to local values and needs, is fostered prior to the actual crisis.

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