War Rhetoric and Disaster Transparency

  • Lisa Grow SunEmail author
  • RonNell Andersen Jones
Part of the Risk, Governance and Society book series (RISKGOSO, volume 19)


In recent years, war and national security rhetoric has come to permeate the legal and policy conversations on a wide variety of natural and technological disasters. This melding of disaster and war to justify exceptions to ordinary constitutional and democratic norms is particularly apparent in governmental restrictions on the flow of its communications in disasters, as limitations on information flow that might be warranted when there are thinking enemies (such as in times of war) are invoked in disaster scenarios lacking such thinking enemies. The extension of wartime transparency exceptionalism into nonthinking-enemy disasters—reflected in both legislation and official rhetoric—is deeply troubling: it risks the illegitimate construction of enemies by government and the unwarranted transformation of public spaces into war zones from which the public can be more easily excluded. Only by consciously disaggregating dissimilar forms of emergencies and removing the rhetoric of war from disaster decision-making can the government make appropriate determinations about the provision of information in times of community or national crisis.


Disaster Response Evacuation Order Government Information Disaster Scenario Technological Disaster 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law SchoolBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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