Government plays a critical role in mitigating individual and collective vulnerability to disaster. Through measures such as disaster relief, infrastructure development, and environmental regulation, public policy is central to making societies more resilient. However, the recent drive to replace public institutions with market mechanisms has challenged governmental efforts to manage collective risk. The contributors to this volume analyze the respective roles of the public and private sectors in the management of catastrophic risk, addressing questions such as: How should homeland security officials evaluate the risk posed by terrorist attacks and natural disasters? Are market-based interventions likely to mitigate our vulnerability to the effects of climate change? What is the appropriate relationship between non-governmental organizations and private security firms in responding to humanitarian emergencies? And how can philanthropic efforts to combat the AIDS crisis ensure ongoing access to life-saving drugs in the developing world? More generally, these essays point to the way thoughtful policy intervention can improve our capacity to withstand catastrophic events.
Additional Columbia / SSRC books on the Privatization of Risk and its Implications for Americans
Bailouts: Public Money, Private ProfitEdited by Robert E. Wright
Health at Risk: America's Ailing Health System-and How to Heal ItEdited by Jacob S. Hacker
Laid Off, Laid Low: Political and Economic Consequences of Employment InsecurityEdited by Katherine S. Newman
Pensions, Social Security, and the Privatization of RiskEdited by Mitchell A. Orenstein
"Disaster, from the climate and the hands of man, may well be the problem of the twenty-first century. This brilliant volume introduces new and important ways to think about catastrophe, politics, and risk. It is required reading, not just for social scientists who study crises, but for anyone who cares about preventing them as well." — Eric Klinenberg, New York University, author of Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media
Chapters include: Andrew Lakoff, "Introduction;" Sheila Jasanoff, "Beyond Calculation: A Democratic Response to Risk;" Patrick S. Roberts, "Private Choices, Public Harms: The Evolution of National Disaster Organizations in the United States;" P.W. Singer, "Strange Brew: Private Military Contractors and Humanitarians;" Heinz Klug, "Risking Health: HIV/AIDS and the Problem of Access to Essential Medicines;" Donald MacKenzie, "Constructing Carbon Markets: Learning from Experiments in the Technopolitics of Emissions Trading Schemes"