First Advisor

Bruce Gilley

Date of Publication

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Political Science


Political Science




Emergency management, Public administration, Disasters, Emergency management -- United States -- Citizen participation, Political participation -- United States, Disaster relief -- Social aspects -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 156 p.) : col. ill.


With disasters increasing in frequency and costs each year, this study seeks to explore ways greater public participation can assist emergency managers in their mission to keep communities safe. Specifically this study examines the policy process and administrative functions of emergency management to illuminated the benefits and hindrances involved in greater participation. This study conducted a qualitative analysis of governmental documents, disaster case studies, international research, as well as political science and administrative doctrines, to arrive at its conclusions. The results of this study reveal that the public is a largely untapped resource in the emergency management field. Engaging the public dialogically in early policy stages and emergency management phases is essential to successful inclusion for both administrators and communities. Specifically, public inclusion creates expanded knowledge, shared learning, personal responsibility, and increased social capital. Faced with the growing threat from disasters, emergency management can create communities that are both more resilient and sustainable by increasing public participation.


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Hatfield School of Government. Division of Political Science

Persistent Identifier