September, 2008

Expectations of Government’s Response to Disaster

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Citizens’ expectations about what government is capable of doing and what policies government officials intend to pursue can influence their decisions. After a disaster, for instance, expectations of government’s intent and capacity to assist in the rebuilding process will influence the rebuilding strategies that affected citizens adopt. This article develops a typology that categorizes citizens’ expectations of government response to disaster.We then deploy this typology to identify expectation patterns among residents and other private actors in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward communities who have returned following Katrina and explain how these expectations shape their preferred rebuilding strategy.