The Politics of Disaster: Tracking the Impact of Hurricane Andrew (Hardcover)
From earthquakes to tornados, elected officials' responses to natural disasters can leave an indelible mark on their political careers. In August 1992, as challengers and incumbents fought for an advantage in the upcoming elections, Hurricane Andrew overwhelmed South Florida, requiring local, state, and federal emergency responses.
David Twigg uses newspaper stories, scholarly articles, and first person interviews to explore the impact of this category five hurricane on local and state political incumbents, revealing how elected officials adjusted their strategies and activities in the wake of the disaster. Not only did Andrew give them a legitimate and necessary opportunity to enhance their constituency service and associate themselves with the flow of external assistance, but it also allowed them to achieve significant personal visibility and media coverage while appearing to be non-political or above "normal" politics. This engrossing case study clearly demonstrates why natural disasters often privilege incumbents.
About the Author
David K. Twigg is an adjunct instructor for FIU's Department of Politics and International Relations and is a former director of the FIU Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies and Program in National Security Studies.