USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development

Contents of Recent Issues

Volume 25, No. 2 (August 2007)

Articles by:

    Katsuya Yamori, "Disaster Risk Sense in Japan and Gaming Approach to Risk Communication," pp. 101–131.

      The aim of the present paper was to identify and describe the three different modes of risk sense that occurred before Japanese society digested and finally accepted the unfamiliar and imported concept of "risk" (or its Japanese translation "risuku ") in the context of natural disaster reduction.  These modes were: mode zero, in which the concept of risk was almost absent before the mid-1990s; the first mode, which occurred after the 1990s when the concept of risk became rapidly and widely accepted by linking it with the preexisting concept of "danger," or "kiken" in Japanese; the second mode, in which, some people highlighted active and participatory risk management processes based on the significant distinction between risk and danger proposed by Luhmann.  Today, another mode of risk sense is needed, to move beyond the limitations of the first and second modes, and to deal with the recurrence of natural disasters we are bound to face in Japan.  To deal with such disasters, a novel and promising gaming approach is proposed that entails a new, third mode conceptualization of risk.  (AA)

    Shannon Doocy, Courtland Robinson, and Gilbert Burnham, "Mortality estimates among Liberian IDPs in Monrovia, 2000-2004," pp. 132–144.

      Liberia's civil war lasted more than fourteen years, ending in August 2003.  During the conflict, nationally reported crude death rates increased from pre-conflict levels of the 1980s.  However, fighting and insecurity precluded population-based assessments, and minimal information on conflict-related mortality is available.  The present study estimated mortality among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the greater Monrovia area and was based on a sample of 378 households with 2,134 individuals over a recall period from the July 2000 invasion by rebel forces to September 2004.  A crude mortality rate of 22/1,000/year (95 CI: 19-25) or 0.6/10,000/day (95 CI: 0.5-0.7) was found among Monrovia IDPs, and excess mortality was estimated at 6/1,000/year (95% CI: 3-9).  The most deaths occurred in 2003, with the death rate peaking during a cholera outbreak.  Of 242 reported deaths, 60 percent (95 CI: 54-66) were attributed to illness and 33 percent (95 CI: 27-39) to violence.  (AA)

    Anna Olofsson, "The Preparedness of Local Authorities for Crisis Communication with People Who Have Foreign Backgrounds: The Case of Sweden," pp. 145–172.

      One of the most important aspects of crisis communication is that of reaching the target population in a severe and often chaotic situation.  Therefore, crisis communication has to be customized not only to the situation but also to the population.  The aim of this study hence is to investigate the preparedness of Swedish municipalities to communicate with people who have foreign backgrounds at times of crisis.  A sample of 55 percent (n=160) of all Swedish municipalities were questioned regarding whether their crisis communication plans are adapted to this population segment and whether any preparedness measures have been taken.  The results show that Swedish municipalities do not consider people with foreign backgrounds in their crisis communication to any great extent.  However, the studied municipalities can be categorized as Active, Intermediary, or Passive, and one important difference between the three groups is whether they have previous experience of crises where people with foreign backgrounds have been involved.  (AA)

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University of Southern California
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