My capstone paper used a mixed methods approach to examine the relevance of politics to disaster studies. First a systematic literature review identifies recurring themes in the politics of disasters. This is followed by a case study which analyzes the US response to the Corona-19 virus. Literature review findings indicate previous research on the politics of disaster falls into political science, governance, and emergency and disaster management categories. Analysis of the literature review and case study supports inclusion of politics as an essential aspect of disaster studies and produced four key recommendations for emergency and disaster managers: (1) Acknowledge the unavoidably political nature of disasters; (2) Embrace a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of disasters; (3) develop a conceptual frame for understanding the politics of disaster and (4) maximize pre-disaster planning and coordinating opportunities as a way of minimizing the impact of politics on disasters.
Data collection for this research produced fifty-nine resources on the politics of disaster. Resources were located using keyword searches in different Booleen arrangements which included “politics of disaster” + “crisis politics” + “emergency management”. Resources were accessed via the Georgetown University library through multiple database searches including Science Direct, ProQuest Central Analysis, JSTOR Central Analysis and EBSCO Databases. Books used as resources included Olaskey (2006); Boin et al. (2017); Sylves (2015; Lizarralde et al., (2010); Rubin and Cutter (2020); Lewis (2022); Birx (2022) and Hannigan (2010).