Table of contents(12 chapters)
This chapter provides the foundation for the book. The objective of this chapter is to outline the theme of the book and to provide the context for the chapters that follow. Disaster recovery is a challenge for governments and for affected communities, families, and individuals. It is a challenge, because recovery from catastrophic disasters can be much more complicated and elusive than what can be addressed by national and international aid organizations given the time and other resources. The short literature review provides the research context, and the overview of the book describes each of the chapters briefly.
Disasters shape the development of communities and societies not only physically but also socially. This chapter provides some quantitative evidence to this effect by examining changes in social capital in communities affected by the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China.
A two-wave, longitudinal household questionnaire survey data set was used for analysis. The baseline data were obtained in January, 2009, around 8 months after the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, adopting a stratified sampling method within a county severely disrupted by the earthquake. A follow-up survey with the same households was conducted in the summer of 2012. Finally, 415 household questionnaire surveys from nine communities within the county were collected for analysis.
Overall, it can be concluded that social capital was strengthened in the post-disaster recovery process in the survey area. Social capital was measured according to three dimensions: (1) affiliation with organizations, (2) the degree of available social support, and (3) the degree of social cohesion within communities. It was found that the average degree of social capital increased during the recovery process, with a decrease of social capital inequalities between different families. More specifically, although informal personal networks were found to be the most prominent sources of social support, the support provided by formal organizations played a relatively more important role immediately after the catastrophe, given that most of the personal networks were also affected. Community cohesion was also found to have increased, with a decrease of standard deviation in the recovery process. This chapter suggests that disasters could generate positive effects rather than negative ones alone. Stronger and more tightly knit communities could be built in the disaster recovery process, if appropriate policies and methods are implemented.
The Tohoku Region in northern Japan was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Although much of the physical infrastructure has since been restored, annual tourism numbers have yet to restore to pre-disaster levels. In some areas, tourism recovery remains stagnant. The objective of this research is to examine how local decision-makers utilize media strategies to deal with image-related crises and reverse negative images to combat stereotypes and deliver successful campaign messages. The study has found that each of the prefectures affected by the disasters has since utilized different campaign strategies with some, such as Fukushima, focusing on the future, while others, such as Aomori, utilized a mixture disassociating itself from the troubled area and associating itself with its more prestigious neighbor. Much of these negative images stem from persisting images of region-wide safety fears over natural hazards and radiation concerns. This study suggests that further research needs to be done to identify the different risk perceptions of foreign tourists by country, as some groups such as Koreans are more risk averse leading to a sharp decline in visits, while others such as Taiwanese who are accustomed to natural hazards are leading in visitor numbers and tourism recovery.
The earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, not only caused extensive direct damage to the population but also triggered a nuclear power plant accident that brought the terror and reality of radiation. The restoration of communities in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures presents enormous problems. People from the radiation-contaminated areas have faced numerous ordeals since resettlement after the accident. Through personal interviews with victims, this chapter investigates what happened in the regional societies and how community consciousness changed as a result of the combined natural and manmade catastrophes. The study focuses on the restoration of community from social bonds through mutual help networks as a spontaneous social order. As the result of interviewing, some propositions were developed concerning the transformation of mutual help networks. The stronger the outside assistance from volunteers whom the victims came to trust and rely on, the weaker inside communal help becomes. Inventorying and clarifying the particular problems of conflict in stricken communities such as the loss of confidence in neighbors, the possibilities of rebuilding communities are explored, especially indicating how to cope with the social demise of communities that local people had formed and occupied all their lives.
This chapter focuses on the experiences and processes of earthquake recovery to discuss the general state of disaster recovery in Japan. In this way, it is expected that the outcome and discussion can provide effective insights for both domestic and international disaster-related efforts. First, the characteristics of natural disasters in Japan are summarized using statistical data. Quantitative and qualitative methods are flexibly used to analyze published data, materials, and semistructured interview data. Published data and materials are collected from various sources. Interview data were gained from diverse interviewees. Then, four case studies of earthquake recovery are introduced and the application of their recovery experiences to future disaster risk reduction is proposed. Finally, conclusions have been drawn from these case studies to show the practical influence of disaster-recovery experiences to regions that are currently experiencing or are likely to experience natural disasters in the future. More specifically, the chapter illustrates what challenges and influences past earthquakes can have on our present preparedness against a Nankai Trough Earthquake, which is predicted to occur in the near future.
Citizen participation has attracted attention in the context of decentralization. In a disaster reconstruction process, a business plan for reconstruction can be modified in line with diversified situations of disaster-affected areas by citizen participation. In Japan, the central government makes a decision about the authority in charge of an overall disaster reconstruction and the budget planning, whereas local governments are in charge of creating and implementing a business plan for reconstruction of each local municipality. Therefore, local governments play an important role in organizing citizen participation to realize the reconstruction that fits reality. It has yet to be shown as decentralization reform and citizen participation system in Japan produce the socio-spatial inequality after the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, it remains to be elucidated how local government and community have to operate the institution about citizen participation during the disaster reconstruction process. I have been doing fieldwork on three tsunami-affected sites in Miyagi Prefecture over past 4 years: Onagawa Town, Higashimatsushima City, and Natori City. I have investigated the social processes of making and implementing a reconstruction plan, and citizen participation. The findings from my fieldwork are as follows: First, citizen participation is based on organizing residents at the community level. Second, traditional community organization (such as neighborhood organization abd industrial associations) contribute to organize residents especially in the emergency phase. Third, as the disaster phase moves, local government and community organization need to change the previous participation frame to ensure residents representation and policy legitimacy.
This comparative study qualitatively explores how linguistic minority immigrants and refugees experienced the 2010–2011 Canterbury and Tohoku disasters, including their coping mechanisms and their perceived vulnerabilities and resilience. The data used for this qualitative analysis was primarily drawn from 28 in-depth interviews with linguistic minority immigrants and refugees and their supporting organization staff conducted in 2015–2016. Additional material was drawn from two publicly available data sets. Immigrants and refugees are typically thought of as being more vulnerable in disasters. However, findings drawn from this research demonstrate the nonlinearity, complexity, and contextuality of social vulnerabilities in disasters, suggesting that they are not necessarily powerless help-seekers in some cases. Using Bourdieu’s capital theory, this study demonstrates how immigrants and refugees were active social agents in these disasters. Consequently, we need to reconceptualize the social vulnerability approach. Some study participants had experiences of going through wars and everyday disasters, which made them more resilient. This is conceptualized here as earned strength, which can be a significant resource in disasters for the socially vulnerable. This chapter hopes to answer some critical questions regarding the social vulnerability approach: how do we incorporate the structure–agency concept, how do we theoretically deal with the contextuality/nonlinearity of social vulnerability in disasters, and how do we conceptualize a research study that can seek more practical and generalizable findings, instead of event-driven and disaster-specific findings?
The purpose of this chapter is to analyze disaster exceptionalism in India, focusing on the case of Kosi river floods in the State of Bihar and their impact on Dalit communities. Data were gathered through document analysis and a qualitative approach based on interviews with national and local leaders and activists of NGOs and Dalit organizations. The main finding is that there are no second-generation social movements related to disasters in India, mainly in what concerns Dalit discrimination. The Disaster Management Act of 2005 reinforced the centralized and top-down nature of the Indian state concerning disasters. On the other hand, national Dalit organizations like National Confederation of Dalit and Adivasi Organisations (NACDAOR) and National Dalit Watch do not possess the expertise to alter the approach to disasters from a contingent and exceptional one to a more structured and long-term perspective.
The chapter shows how extreme events and permanent hazardous situations tend to increase the legitimacy of state intervention, often involving the suspension of social and economic norms, creating a state of exception, which indicates the inevitable presence of the state. The abyssal line that separates those individuals and groups that are integrated from those defined as disposable and invisible crosses through both the Global South and the little colonies of the North, reinforcing the logic of states that want to be bigger and stronger than their own citizens.
Nepal is confronted by an increasing number of natural- and human-induced disasters, making it the most disaster-prone country in the world. Landslides, floods, droughts, fires, thunderbolts, blockades, and earthquakes, among others, occur frequently. All these disasters take a high toll on people and cause heavy damage to physical properties worth billions of dollars every year. One of the recent examples in the history of disasters was the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015 taking away human lives, destroying physical infrastructures, altering cultures, challenging institutions, and devastating the hope and ambitions of people. Thirty-three of the Nepal’s 75 districts were affected, at different degrees, and 14 out of 33 were badly damaged by the two major earthquakes on the 26th of April and the 12th of May 2015. This chapter provides a reflective dialogue on the current state of the disaster-recovery process with a focus on the delivery of recovery services aiming to (1) understand how key actors are responding to disaster-recovery works in Nepal and (2) identify knowledge gaps in the disaster response policy and research arenas in managing future disasters in Nepal.
International humanitarian assistance usually arrives quickly following a catastrophic disaster, although it may be slower to remote locations. The international community has developed guidelines to reduce the social and cultural intrusiveness of the aid, assuring that local priorities are followed and the aid facilitates long-term recovery. However, the aid missions are under pressure to act quickly and withdraw because of the expense of operations, and thus, they are less sensitive to local culture and priorities than they might be. This chapter looks at the political context of international humanitarian assistance, including the Hyogo and Sendai Frameworks and humanitarian standards, and the experience in several catastrophic disaster responses in Asia. Levels of satisfaction with recovery, particularly housing recovery, were related to the affected communities’ participation in the decision-making process. Humanitarian aid standards also encourage attention to issues of security, displaced populations, equity in the distribution of aid, the safety of women and children, and other disaster impacts.
- Publication date
- Book series
- Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN