Terrorism and the International Business Environment
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Terrorism and the International Business Environment

The Security–Business Nexus

Edited by Gabriele G.S. Suder

This book was born from the editor’s conviction that a wide set of contributors should provide the economic and corporate sectors with guidelines, developed from rigorous research and case studies, to analyse those adjustments made necessary through international terrorism, as known since September 11th 2001. It argues that corporate asset protection and accurate business risk assessment is vital to the longevity, and resilience of business.
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Chapter 12: Disaster Management after September 11: A ‘Normal Accident’ or a ‘Man-made Disaster?’ What Did We Know, What Have We Learned?

David H. Weir


12. Disaster management after September 11: a ‘normal accident’ or a ‘man-made disaster’? What did we know, what have we learned? David H. Weir INTRODUCTION It has almost become a commonplace that after the events of September 11, the world will never be the same again. The date has become iconic, evoking instant recognition in many contexts, though not in Chile where the date symbolizes for most people the coup d’état in 1973 of General Pinochet with US backing against the elected government of President Allende, leading to his assassination. Nonetheless, these are strong claims: are they justified? Have the responses of the world community been commensurate with this discourse? What has changed and are such events now more or less likely in the future? In some senses, for students of disasters, such catastrophic events are not so unusual and by some criteria it is arguable that September 11 was quite a ‘normal’ disaster. It was predictable and it was predicted: it affected a relatively circumscribed and limited group of people, and its etiology is not in doubt. We shall argue that there is extant research and conventionally accepted patterns of explanation within the scientific community which can assist in the work of interpretation 12.1 NORMAL ACCIDENTS The term ‘normal accident’ was first coined by Charles Perrow in 1984 to define a type of occurrence which may be system-induced in the sense that it is an inevitable outcome, at some time or other, of the...

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