Natural disasters: Expectations and political response
Natural disasters - such as hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis - are often used as an impetus for massive policy shifts and redistribution of state resources. Often, sudden changes of government expenditure may contribute to public frustration, particularly when a state’s response to an emergency is seen as ineffective. Indeed, a commonly cited cause for public protest activity is poor state response to natural disasters. However, analysis demonstrates that even far-reaching political responses to natural disasters often provoke violent demonstrations, indicating that promises made during high-level visits in affected areas raise expectations among natural disaster victims. If those expectations are not then met, discontent can trigger episodes of riots and protest – regardless of the rapidity or quality of the response.Thus, ‘band-aid’ policy fixes are not enough to reduce riot and protest events in the aftermath of natural disasters: consistently inclusive and sustainable policies are required to effectively reduce those events.More.