Making Sense of Disaster: Towards a Contextual, Phase-Based Understanding of Organizationally Based Acute Civilian Disasters

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Notwithstanding their visibility and the evident harm they cause, criminological attention to organisationally based acute civilian disasters (OBACDs) has been sporadic and the field has been left, in the main, to practitioners and scholars from other disciplines. This article suggests a research template for the contextual analysis of OBACDs examining the actions and omissions of key stakeholders through a succession of phases. A review of disaster literature was undertaken using this framework and used to develop a simple model of OBACDs elucidating issues around three criminological themes: the origins of OBACDs; the impact of and response to OBACDs; and the processes of sense-making, learning and accountability that follow OBACDs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-400
JournalThe British Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2013


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