Disaster and the Politics of Intervention

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Overview

Government plays a critical role in mitigating individual and collective vulnerability to disaster. Through measures such as disaster relief, infrastructure development, and environmental regulation, public policy is central to making societies more resilient. However, the recent drive to replace public institutions with market mechanisms has challenged governmental efforts to manage collective risk. The contributors to this volume analyze the respective roles of the public and private sectors in the management of catastrophic risk, addressing questions such as: How should homeland security officials evaluate the risk posed by terrorist attacks and natural disasters? Are market-based interventions likely to mitigate our vulnerability to the effects of climate change? What is the appropriate relationship between non-governmental organizations and private security firms in responding to humanitarian emergencies? And how can philanthropic efforts to combat the AIDS crisis ensure ongoing access to life-saving drugs in the developing world? More generally, these essays point to the way thoughtful policy intervention can improve our capacity to withstand catastrophic events.

Additional Columbia / SSRC books on the Privatization of Risk and its Implications for Americans

Bailouts: Public Money, Private ProfitEdited by Robert E. Wright

Health at Risk: America's Ailing Health System-and How to Heal ItEdited by Jacob S. Hacker

Laid Off, Laid Low: Political and Economic Consequences of Employment InsecurityEdited by Katherine S. Newman

Pensions, Social Security, and the Privatization of RiskEdited by Mitchell A. Orenstein

Columbia University Press

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What People Are Saying

Eric Klinenberg

Disaster, from the climate and the hands of man, may well be the problem of the twenty-first century. This brilliant volume introduces new and important ways to think about catastrophe, politics, and risk. It is required reading, not just for social scientists who study crises, but for anyone who cares about preventing them as well.

Eric Klinenberg

Disaster, from the climate and the hands of man, may well be the problem of the twenty-first century. This brilliant volume introduces new and important ways to think about catastrophe, politics, and risk. It is required reading, not just for social scientists who study crises, but for anyone who cares about preventing them as well.

Eric Klinenberg, New York University, author of Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231146975
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2009
  • Series: A Columbia / SSRC Book (Privatization of Risk)
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Lakoff is associate professor of anthropology, sociology and communication at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry, and coeditor, with Stephen J. Collier, of Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question. His current research concerns the intersection between global health and national security in the development of approaches to new biological and environmental threats.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction Andrew Lakoff 1

Chapter 1 Beyond Calculation: A Democratic Response to Risk Sheila Jasanoff 14

Chapter 2 Private Choices, Public Harms: The Evolution of National Disaster Organizations in the United States Patrick S. Roberts 42

Chapter 3 Strange Brew: Private Military Contractors and Humanitarians P. W. Singer 70

Chapter 4 Risking Health: HIV/AIDS and the Problem of Access to Essential Medicines Heinz Klug 100

Chapter 5 Constructing Carbon Markets: Learning from Experiments in the Technopolitics of Emissions Trading Schemes Donald Mackenzie 130

List of Contributors 150

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