ABSTRACT

Climate change, and also other factors, are capable of bringing about major disasters on a scale hitherto unimaginable. Ecological and other risks, besides having scientific and technological dimensions, are also a subject of study for social scientists, concerned with how disasters and potential disasters are noticed, perceived, guarded against, managed once they have occurred, and coped with after they have happened. This book considers a range of ecological risks and disasters and how they are managed in both China and Europe. It examines how far risks and disasters are perceived and managed in different ways in Europe and China, explores how an increasing humanitarian approach to "vulnerable people" being taken up in Europe is also being adopted in China, and assesses how far the management of disasters differs from wider government management of more ordinary aspects of everyday life. The book argues that the same stresses and strains which are present in normal society are there also, in enhanced form, in disaster situations.