Governing Disasters
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Governing Disasters

The Challenges of Emergency Risk Regulation

Edited by Alberto Alemanno

This is the first volume that addresses the complexities of the volcanic ash cloud that overshadowed Europe in April 2011, but has subsequently struck again in Australia, Chile and Europe. It does so from a multidisciplinary perspective, drawing upon research from economics, law, sociology and other fields, as well as volcanology and leading expertise in jet engineering. Whilst our knowledge base is wide-ranging, there is a common focus on the practical lessons of the ash cloud crisis both for subsequent eruptions and for emergency risk regulation more generally.
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Alberto Alemanno


Alberto Alemanno One of the less heralded consequences of globalization is the emergence of crises of escalating magnitude that, due to their systemic impact, test our ability to organize and swiftly execute a coordinated response. Yet truly global institutions, such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, to mention a few, govern only specific domains and do not cover all areas of human activity. Against this backdrop, this book explored the challenges of emergency risk regulation, by initially taking the response to the volcanic ash crisis to explore the general problem of emergency response in an environment where – as recently showed by the 2011 Japan tsunami – the lines between manufactured and natural risks are increasingly blurred. A tsunami, generated in turn by an earthquake, damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, transforming a geophysical disaster into a nuclear threat. This book, due to its interdisciplinary approach, represents an original attempt to capture the key insights that have emerged in the different scholarly contributions to the field of risk regulation, by focusing on the notion of emergency risk regulation. Building on a diverse range of contributions, it draws lessons from the emergency regulatory response provided to the volcanic ash crisis and other contingencies and attempts at generalizing some of them to future emergency situations. In so doing, it conceptualizes the notion of ‘emergency risk regulation’. Each chapter, by relying on a different disciplinary perspective, identifies a number of themes about...

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