This course examines the problem of natural disasters and catastrophic events, and the political and policy responses to these phenomena.  By taking this course, students will necessarily gain a better appreciation of different types of hazards, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, nuclear disasters, and famines. In addition, as this is a political science course, students will examine the political, economic, and societal factors that contribute to human vulnerability to hazards, including poverty, corruption, a lack of preparedness, and other issues of governance. Students will also learn about the strategies and practices employed to mitigate hazards and their effects, as well as the ethical dilemmas and moral hazards involved in disaster relief efforts. Finally, and most important, students will have the opportunity to consider the human toll and other implications of catastrophic events.

Professor: David A. Shirk, Associate Professor, Political Science, University of San Diego

Location: Loma Hall 004; Tues. / Thurs. 9:15 – 10:35 am

Office Hours: KIPJ-Room 257 Monday 12:00-2:00pm; Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-3:30pm

Office: 619-260-2315; Email: dshirk

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