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Article

Mark Constable

The purpose of this paper is to examine the many reports of looting during the response operation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and assess these…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the many reports of looting during the response operation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and assess these reports against literature which suggests that looting during natural disasters is a myth.

Design/methodology/approach

Media reports of looting from the days following Hurricane Katrina's landfall in New Orleans are compared with previously published evidence of disaster mythology. Questions are raised regarding the legitimacy of these reports and the role of such reports is assessed along with the role that media agencies play in disaster planning and response.

Findings

Media reports of looting in New Orleans appear to be mainly repeated second‐hand accounts. It is likely that there was in fact no looting in the traditional sense. The paper suggests what really happened in terms of theft and poses potential reasons as to the cause thereof. A clear definition of looting is suggested for emergency managers to use in order to separate acts of survival from pure criminal acts.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the dangers for emergency managers in believing common disaster myths. It is a timely reminder of the existence disaster mythology against a recent disaster in a developed country.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Book part

Bethany L. Brown

Purpose – Everyday human behavior is complicated and difficult to understand. When a disaster event is factored in, human behavior becomes even more complicated. Much like…

Abstract

Purpose – Everyday human behavior is complicated and difficult to understand. When a disaster event is factored in, human behavior becomes even more complicated. Much like during routine times where resources are unequally distributed, so too are the impacts of a disaster. That is, people are more and less vulnerable to disaster and the damage a disaster inflicts has more to do with the social context (type of housing, level of urbanization, average level of education) of the impacted community. Part of the social context of a community that is not considered part of vulnerability analysis is rates of crime. Indeed, there is reliable evidence that demonstrates lawlessness and crime do not happen after “typical” disasters (e.g., see Quarantelli, 2005). However, we are beginning to see antisocial or conflict behavior, such as looting, price gouging, and violence, especially in more recent events like Hurricanes Hugo and Katrina.

Design/methodology/approach – Using the case studies of Hurricanes Hugo and Katrina, this chapter applies conflict and structural strain theories to lawlessness post-disaster, and makes call to consider these theories as part of disaster studies.

Findings – There are emerging patterns of lawlessness that are happening after contemporary disaster events.

Value of the paper – Considerable research posits that people, for the most part, act in consensus following a typical disaster event. However, current events like Hurricane Katrina are by no means typical, and, in fact, trigger new typologies for understanding acute crisis events. These new events are showing us that what have traditionally been called disaster myths may be becoming more of a reality than we once thought. Therefore, criminology of disaster is important to develop further. Little research does this, outside of Harper and Frailing (2010).

Details

Disasters, Hazards and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-914-1

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Book part

Susan S. Kuo

Purpose – This study explores legal justifications for applying an enhanced criminal sanction to wrongs committed before, during, and after disasters.…

Abstract

Purpose – This study explores legal justifications for applying an enhanced criminal sanction to wrongs committed before, during, and after disasters.

Design/methodology/approach – This study uses recent social science evidence to evaluate the need for criminal statutes covering looting, price gouging, and other disaster-related offenses. Further, this study considers a broader historical context, identifying intersections of disaster crime and the common law's treatment of riots and public disorder.

Findings – Although individual disaster victims and communities are vulnerable to criminal harm, and this vulnerability often appears to motivate the punishment of disaster-related crimes, it is not the only or even the strongest justification available. As an alternative approach, one could focus on the public dimension of the harm – disaster-related crimes are particularly pernicious because they threaten to undermine the legitimate governing authority of the state.

Originality/value of paper – The public-order thesis yokes current legal doctrine to longstanding common law themes and, in so doing, departs from conventional justifications for the enhanced punishment of disaster-related crime. The critical perspective offered here could be extended to criminal penalty enhancements more generally. Moreover, because the rationale for identifying and punishing wrongful conduct is the fundamental question of criminal law, even a modest reassessment has potentially far-reaching implications.

Details

Disasters, Hazards and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-914-1

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Article

Martina Linnenluecke, Tom Smith and Robert E. Whaley

This paper aims to examine the complex issue of the social cost of carbon. The authors review the existing literature and the strengths and deficiencies of existing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the complex issue of the social cost of carbon. The authors review the existing literature and the strengths and deficiencies of existing approaches. They introduce a simple methodology that estimates the amount of “legal looting” in the fossil fuel industry as an alternative approach to calculate an unpaid social cost of carbon. The “looting amount” can be defined as society’s failure to charge fossil fuel firms for the damage that their activities cause represents an implied subsidy.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used in this paper combines decisions in the form of policymakers setting carbon taxes and rational investors investing in carbon emission markets.

Findings

The authors show that the unpaid social cost of carbon in the fossil fuel industry was US$12.7tn over 1995-2013, but may be as high as US$115.5tn.

Originality/value

Over the same period, the sum of industry profits, emission trading scheme carbon permit and carbon tax revenue totalled US$7tn, indicating the industry would not be viable if it was made to pay for damages to society.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

Keywords

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Article

John S. Jeremie

The purpose of this paper is to explain why, as a matter of law and policy, loss suffered as a consequence of terrorism, insurrection and/or civil uprising is not…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why, as a matter of law and policy, loss suffered as a consequence of terrorism, insurrection and/or civil uprising is not generally compensable in insurance law. The paper postulates that it is the duty of the state, particularly in small states, to compensate loss of this type.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper achieves this objective by studying the attempted coup d'état by Muslim fundamentalists in Trinidad and Tobago in 1990 and the devastating property losses suffered during the attempted coup as a consequence of looting and arson. The standard terms of two main policies then in use are meticulously set out and examined in the context of the relevant case law and textbook learning on the subject of losses of this type.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that losses occasioned as a consequence of activity of the type under reference – that is terrorist activity, insurrection and civil uprising – cannot be dealt with by insurance companies and that it falls to the state as the guardian of national security and as an honest broker in the development of the economy to ensure even development by compensating losses occasioned as a consequence of terrorist activity, insurrection and/or civil uprising.

Originality/value

The paper for the first time puts in context losses of the type now being experienced in many parts of the world and explains the limitations of the traditional insurance law principles to treat with these losses. The solution of state compensation as a last resort to compensate innocent victims in these circumstances is advanced as a possible solution.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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Book part

Alicia J. Ferrara, Peter G. Stillman and Adelaide H. Villmoare

Purpose – This study examines the legal system's responses to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans particularly in the first two weeks after…

Abstract

Purpose – This study examines the legal system's responses to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans particularly in the first two weeks after the storm. During this period, issues of law and order were a primary concern of government decision makers, and these issues framed those of rescue of and aid to the survivors.

Approach – The chapter draws on the analytic concept of the carceral state as it is publicly displayed in official reactions to disaster rumors of disorder and violence. The empirical focus is on policing activity and on events at the Orleans Parish Prison and Camp Greyhound, a temporary detention center established after the storm.

Findings – Largely unfounded rumors of disorder, including roaming gangs, extensive looting, rape, and murder, fueled the emphasis on law and order and policing and carceral decisions of officials. Actions intended to facilitate an individual's survival or comfort or evacuation were often treated as criminal. New Orleans became a prison city.

Originality – The analysis develops the concept of a “prison city” as an embodiment of the carceral state and suggests that the carceral state prompts and reinforces rumors about disorder and the tendency to designate policing and incarceration as essential first responses to disasters in the United States.

Details

Disasters, Hazards and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-914-1

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Executive summary

VENEZUELA: MUD calls protests after looting death

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-ES201422

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Executive summary

COLOMBIA: State will pre-empt future acts of looting

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-ES229992

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Article

Hannah Roon

Rioting and looting can take several forms and can be enacted at different levels of society and be subjected to a range of criteria; war is a form of looting and rioting…

Abstract

Rioting and looting can take several forms and can be enacted at different levels of society and be subjected to a range of criteria; war is a form of looting and rioting, but is blessed with, and condoned by, every institution of the State. Commercial looting and rioting — although devoid of flame and physical violence — has much in common with its other sisters and also tends to gather impetus at specific times; further, it can manifest itself in areas lacking sophistication. As we write, the country is in partial recession and a new technical epoch is dawning; the Government (quite rightly) is persisting with its crusade against inflation and we live at a period in which we are actually encouraged to flaunt our impediments (commercial and personal) for money. Contemplating this hotch‐potch of phenomena the commercial entrepreneur, his more staid institutional brethren and the imperative technical arms in support of them both, must harness all their joint talent if they are to remain solvent. But for what purpose? The paint revenue cake — perhaps a little stale at this point — is still here for those eager to slice it.

Details

Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

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Article

Dmitry Shlapentokh

The historian can provide quite a different explanation, other than the currently held views, for the emergence of the Red Terror in 1918.

Abstract

The historian can provide quite a different explanation, other than the currently held views, for the emergence of the Red Terror in 1918.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 14 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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