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Globalization of Disaster

Trends, Problems and Dilemmas

May 1, 2006

By David Alexander

Journal of International Affairs, Spring/Summer 2006, vol. 59, no. 2
Columbia University

Article Intro

After the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 donor countries subscribed to post-disaster relief appeals so copiously that all the money could not be spent quickly enough to justify the reasons for which it was donated. For other contemporary disasters, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, there was an alarming dearth of funds and a general failure to respond to international relief appeals. This paradox neither illustrates that the world is becoming more generous nor demonstrates the opposite. It does, however, highlight one of the many contrasts inherent in current approaches to disaster. As worldwide involvement in the relief and mitigation of catastrophe deepens and becomes more complex, so the approach becomes more fragmentary in some respects, particularly those that relate to global security strategies, and more uniform in others, especially in terms of where the international political system directs its limited attention.

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Read More: Environment, Globalization, Governance, Security

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