Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

The Political Implications of Natural Disasters

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Political Science

First Advisor

Timothy Nordstrom

Second Advisor

Jacob Kathman

Third Advisor

Megan Shannon

Abstract

When natural disasters like floods or droughts happen, people experience their wrath, losing lives, livelihoods, homes and security. Natural disasters disrupt the status quo, and create social, humanitarian and political needs. In most cases, people turn to their governments to provide for these needs. However, governments vary widely in their ability and willingness to provide for these needs. Citizens evaluate the outcomes of the government's actions in response to their needs arising from the effects of the natural disaster. Much work on the effects of natural disasters has been undertaken by civil war scholars. This project uniquely contributes to our understanding of how natural disasters affect political processes by extending the analysis to the areas of human rights, sub-national social conflict and leadership duration.

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