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15. Hazards and Disasters

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Chapter Summary

The study of hazards, disasters, and risk encompasses topics that can be roughly categorized as focusing on pre-event or "normal", non-disaster times; disaster impacts and the immediate post-impact response period; and the post-event period, which includes short- and longer-term disaster recovery. Cross-cutting themes spanning the hazard-disaster cycle include risk and disaster governance; societal inequities and disparities that are linked to such factors as social class, race, gender, and ethnicity; and disaster resilience. This chapter discusses theoretical perspectives in the field of disaster research, and provides an overview of representative comparative studies on hazards and disasters. It concludes by discussing future directions for comparative hazard and disaster research. Social science research on hazards and disasters is strongly multi-disciplinary, and this is especially true of cross-national and comparative research.

Keywords: cross-national comparisons; disaster research; environmental hazard; societal inequities



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