The Government of Emergency

The Government of Emergency

Author: Andrew Lakoff

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691199283

Category: Political Science

Page: 480

View: 429

"In the middle decades of the twentieth century, in the wake of economic depression, war, and in the midst of the Cold War, an array of technical experts and government officials developed a substantial body of expertise to contain and manage the disruptions to American society caused by unprecedented threats. Today the tools invented by these mid-twentieth century administrative reformers are largely taken for granted, assimilated into the everyday workings of government. As Stephen Collier and Andrew Lakoff argue in this book, the American government's current practices of disaster management can be traced back to this era. Collier and Lakoff argue that an understanding of the history of this initial formation of the "emergency state" is essential to an appreciation of the distinctive ways that the U.S. government deals with crises and emergencies-or fails to deal with them-today. This book focuses on historical episodes in emergency or disaster planning and management. Some of these episodes are well-known and have often been studied, while others are little-remembered today. The significance of these planners and managers is not that they were responsible for momentous technical innovations or that all their schemes were realized successfully. Their true significance lies in the fact that they formulated a way of understanding and governing emergencies that has come to be taken for granted"--

The Government of Emergency

The Government of Emergency

Author: Stephen J. Collier

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691228884

Category: Social Science

Page: 480

View: 855

The origins and development of the modern American emergency state From pandemic disease, to the disasters associated with global warming, to cyberattacks, today we face an increasing array of catastrophic threats. It is striking that, despite the diversity of these threats, experts and officials approach them in common terms: as future events that threaten to disrupt the vital, vulnerable systems upon which modern life depends. The Government of Emergency tells the story of how this now taken-for-granted way of understanding and managing emergencies arose. Amid the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, an array of experts and officials working in obscure government offices developed a new understanding of the nation as a complex of vital, vulnerable systems. They invented technical and administrative devices to mitigate the nation’s vulnerability, and organized a distinctive form of emergency government that would make it possible to prepare for and manage potentially catastrophic events. Through these conceptual and technical inventions, Stephen Collier and Andrew Lakoff argue, vulnerability was defined as a particular kind of problem, one that continues to structure the approach of experts, officials, and policymakers to future emergencies.

States of Emergency in Liberal Democracies

States of Emergency in Liberal Democracies

Author: Nomi Claire Lazar

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139479585

Category: Political Science

Page:

View: 362

In an emergency, statesmen concentrate power and suspend citizens' rights. These emergency powers are ubiquitous in the crisis government of liberal democracies, but their nature and justification is poorly understood. Based on a pluralist conception of political ethics and political power, this book shows how we can avoid the dangers and confusions inherent in the norm/exception approach that dominates both historical and contemporary debate. The book shows how liberal values need never - indeed must never - be suspended, even in times of urgency. Only then can accountability remain a live possibility. But at the same time, emergency powers can sometimes be justified with reference to extra-liberal norms that also operate in times of normalcy. By emphasizing the continuity between times of normalcy and emergency, the book illuminates the norms of crisis government, broadening our understanding of liberal democratic government and of political ethics in the process.