Conventional wisdom would expect government to react to disaster or crisis in order to prevent recurrence. Atrophy of vigilance theory contends that disasters in hazardous systems necessarily lead to such corrective policy. Yet policy change theory recognizes that even disaster or crisis spurs policy change only when there is a conducive political climate. When is disaster or crisis insufficient to produce a political climate favoring change aimed at preventing recurrence? What is the durability of policy change in the long term? This article uses three Israeli and two parallel American case studies to further understanding of policy reactions to disaster and crisis in environments dominated by production results pressures. Patterns of reaction do not conform completely with either atrophy of vigilance or policy change theories.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
|Published - Jan 2004