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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2018

Disasters: Core Concepts and Ethical Theories

  • This book is open access, with free and unlimited access thanks to COST, an EU-funded Horizon 2020 programme

  • The first book covering both conceptual and normative issues in relation to disasters

  • Written by a multidisciplinary and international group of leading disaster scholars

  • Takes a broad perspective covering various conceptual issues and ethical traditions applied to practical situations

Part of the book series: Advancing Global Bioethics (AGBIO, volume 11)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-ix
  2. Conceptualizing and Assessing Disasters: An Introduction

    • Dónal P. O’Mathúna, Bert Gordijn
    Pages 1-9Open Access
  3. Conceptualization of Disasters in Different Disciplines

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 11-11
    2. Conceptualizations of Disasters in Philosophy

      • Per Sandin
      Pages 13-26Open Access
    3. Christian Theology and Disasters: Where is God in All This?

      • Dónal P. O’Mathúna
      Pages 27-42Open Access
    4. Disasters and Responsibility. Normative Issues for Law Following Disasters

      • Kristian Cedervall Lauta
      Pages 43-53Open Access
    5. Political Science Perspectives

      • Rob A. DeLeo
      Pages 69-85Open Access
    6. Conceptualizing Disasters from a Gender Perspective

      • Ayesha Ahmad
      Pages 105-117Open Access
  4. Moral Theories and Response to Disasters

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 143-143
    2. Disaster Consequentialism

      • Vojin Rakić
      Pages 145-156Open Access
    3. Disasters, Vulnerability and Human Rights

      • Henk ten Have
      Pages 157-174Open Access
    4. Capabilities, Ethics and Disasters

      • Andrew Crabtree
      Pages 175-187Open Access
    5. Disasters and Communitarianism

      • Paul Voice
      Pages 189-202Open Access
    6. Virtue Ethics and Disasters

      • Lars Löfquist
      Pages 203-215Open Access
    7. Kantian Virtue Ethics Approaches

      • Eleni Kalokairinou
      Pages 217-227Open Access
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 241-244

About this book

This Open Access Book is the first to examine disasters from a multidisciplinary perspective. Justification of actions in the face of disasters requires recourse both to conceptual analysis and ethical traditions. Part 1 of the book contains chapters on how disasters are conceptualized in different academic disciplines relevant to disasters. Part 2 has chapters on how ethical issues that arise in relation to disasters can be addressed from a number of fundamental normative approaches in moral and political philosophy. This book sets the stage for more focused normative debates given that no one book can be completely comprehensive. Providing analysis of core concepts, and with real-world relevance, this book should be of interest to disaster scholars and researchers, those working in ethics and political philosophy, as well as policy makers, humanitarian actors and intergovernmental organizations..


  • Open Access
  • disaster bioethics
  • disaster ethics
  • humanitarian action
  • natural hazards
  • international law
  • normative theories
  • humanitarian aid
  • disaster research
  • public health preparedness
  • emergency medicine
  • epidemiology of disasters
  • political philosophy
  • intergovernmental organizations

Editors and Affiliations

  • School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

    Dónal P. O’Mathúna

  • Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

    Vilius Dranseika

  • Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

    Bert Gordijn

About the editors

Vilius Dranseika is a lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy, Vilnius University, Lithuania and a researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. His main academic interests are Research Ethics, Moral Psychology, and Experimental Philosophy.

Bert Gordijn is Professor and Director of the Institute of Ethics at Dublin City University in Ireland. He has studied Philosophy and History in Utrecht, Strasbourg and Freiburg in Breisgau. Bert has been a Visiting Professor at Lancaster University (UK), Georgetown University (USA), the National University of Singapore, the Fondation Brocher (Switzerland), Yenepoya University (Mangalore, Karnataka, India) and the University of Otago (New Zealand). He has served on Advisory Panels and Expert Committees of the European Chemical Industry Council, the European Patent Organisation, the Irish Department of Health and UNESCO. Bert is Editor-in-Chief of two book series: "The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology" and "Advances in Global Bioethics" as well as a peer reviewed journal: "Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy", all published by Springer. He is Secretary of the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare and President of the International Association of Education in Ethics.

Dónal P. O’Mathúna has degrees in pharmacy and bioethics. He is Associate Professor in ethics in the School of Nursing and Human Sciences at Dublin City University in Ireland and in the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University in the USA. He is widely published in bioethics and has led an EU-funded COST network examining the developing field of disaster bioethics. As Chair of this COST Action, he helped bring together scholars, humanitarian organisations, and international organisations to identify, examine and address ethical issues in disasters. He has published and presented widely on the ethical challenges in disasters faced by healthcare professionals and researchers. This work has led to funded research projects and his involvement in expert committees developing ethics guidelines for disasters, including those of the World Health Organization and other international organisations. He has a particular interest in research ethics in disasters, addressing vulnerability and dignity in disasters, and theological perspectives on disasters. He has a long-standing interest in research ethics and integrity, having been a member of several ethics committees and chaired Dublin City University’s research ethics committee for six years.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Disasters: Core Concepts and Ethical Theories

  • Editors: Dónal P. O’Mathúna, Vilius Dranseika, Bert Gordijn

  • Series Title: Advancing Global Bioethics

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-92721-3Published: 26 October 2018

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-06501-0Published: 22 December 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-92722-0Published: 16 October 2018

  • Series ISSN: 2212-652X

  • Series E-ISSN: 2212-6538

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: IX, 244

  • Number of Illustrations: 6 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics, Natural Hazards, Public International Law

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)