Natural Disasters: Triggers of Political Instability?

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    • Abstract:
      This study engages with the question: Do different types of natural disasters—droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, and others—trigger political instability? It revisits an ongoing debate over the nature of association between disasters and conflict and reassesses this relationship using the model of conflict developed by the Political Instability Task Force as well as its data, measures of political instability, and methods of assessment. The study finds only marginal support for the impact of certain types of disasters on the onsets of political instability. The preexisting country-specific conditions, including the resilience of a state's institutions to crisis, account for most of the variance in the dependent variable. Once the characteristics of a state's political regime are taken into account, the effect of disasters weakens or disappears completely, suggesting that natural disasters become catalysts of political instability in only those states which are already prone to conflict. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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