The Politics of Disaster

David K. Twigg

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813041889
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043890 | DOI:
The Politics of Disaster

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Hurricane Andrew ripped through Dade County, Florida, before dawn on August 24, 1992, with devastating effect. Andrew is considered one of only three Category 5 hurricanes to strike the U.S. mainland in recorded history. This study explores the impact of the hurricane on elections through analysis of election outcomes and interviews with elected officials and their key supporters. Incumbents who sought reelection after Andrew share insights about their perceptions of politics after a disaster and about how they adjusted their political strategies and activities in Andrew's wake. Andrew gave elected officials a legitimate and necessary opportunity to enhance their constituency service and to associate themselves with the flow of external assistance; it also allowed them to achieve significant personal visibility and media coverage while appearing to be nonpolitical or above “normal” politics.

Keywords: campaigns; constituency service; disaster; elections; Florida politics; Hurricane Andrew; incumbency; leadership

Book.  224 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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Executive Branch Effects? in The Politics of Disaster


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