Social Vulnerability And Political Advocacy After Hurricane Katrina
Free (open access)
1213 - 1224
T. Buhler Corbin
Hurricane Katrina elucidated governmental failures and existing inequities in the affected areas, thus creating an opportunity for policy advocates for historically marginalized populations who rank high on the social vulnerability index to participate in the political process. Using discourse analysis to code the testimony of 240 witnesses who testified in 41 congressional hearings held after Hurricane Katrina, witnesses who advocated for policies that addressed social inequities are identified and their proposals analyzed. Findings indicate that advocates raised contentious issues of race, poverty, environmental justice, and climate change in recovery proposals. Proposals incorporated ideas of sustainability, resilience, and considerations of social equity, representing a significant departure from previous congressional advocacy after disasters. This research increases our understanding of policy change after disasters, particularly the circumstances under which policy advocates can elevate socioeconomic issues to the political agenda.
Hurricane Katrina, congressional policy advocacy, social vulnerability, race, poverty, environmental justice, sustainability, resilience