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Lessons learned? Disasters, rapid change and globalization

30-06-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 866, by Wolf R. Dombrowsky

Comparing the two tsunamis of Lisbon in 1775 and of Asia in 2004, the article analyses the different paradigmatic interpretations of “Western” religious and secular causality. Based on the rational concept of risk-making and risk-taking, the need to accept failures and their consequences is discussed as well as the responsibility to develop human strategies for disaster prevention and foster living conditions which may avoid large-scale suffering.

   

Wolf R. Dombrowsky
has been engaged since 1979 in disaster research at the Institute of Sociology, Christian-Albrechts-University. In 1987 he became Deputy Head and in 2002 Head of the Institute’s sociological Disaster Research Centre (Katastrophenforschungsstelle, KFS). He is a member of the Protection Commission of the German Ministry of the Interior and a member of the Environment Ministry’s Radiation Protection Commission. 

 
Abstract 
Comparing the two tsunamis of Lisbon in 1775 and of Asia in 2004, the article analyses the different paradigmatic interpretations of ‘‘Western’’ religious and secular causality. Based on the rational concept of risk making and risk taking, the need to accept failures and their consequences is discussed, as well as the responsibility to develop human strategies for disaster prevention and to foster living conditions which may avoid large-scale suffering.  

   
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