Disaster governance is an emerging concept in the disaster research literature that is closely related to risk governance and environmental governance. Disaster governance arrangements and challenges are shaped by forces such as globalization, world-system dynamics, social inequality, and sociodemographic trends. Governance regimes are polycentric and multiscale, show variation across the hazards cycle, and tend to lack integration and to be formulated in response to particular large-scale disaster events. Disaster governance is nested within and influenced by overarching societal governance systems. Although governance failures can occur in societies with stable governance systems, as the governmental response to Hurricane Katrina shows, poorly governed societies and weak states are almost certain to exhibit deficiencies in disaster governance. State-civil society relationships, economic organization, and societal transitions have implications for disaster governance. Various measures can be employed to assess disaster governance; more research is needed in this nascent field of study on factors that contribute to effective governance and on other topics, such as the extent to which governance approaches contribute to long-term sustainability.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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