Book Review: Disaster and Emergency Management Methods

Disaster and Emergency Management Methods; Social Science Approaches in Application by Jason Rivera. Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York and London. ISBN-hardcover: 978 0 367 42398 8 ISBN-electronic: 978 0 367 82394 8; Pages: 381; on-line price $52.95 for paperback., $172.55 for hardback, $42.36 for etext USD. Key words: environmental governance, sustainability, resilience, climate risk, natural hazard, disaster risk reduction, building regulation.

Reviewer: Jono Anzalone, EdD, Nonprofit Leader and Disaster Expert

Jason Rivera provides a solid text for approaching disaster and emergency management from a social science perspective. As the emergency management profession has gained academic rigor in the past 20 or so years, this text informs several critical research methodologies that are valuable for both undergraduate and graduate students as well as practitioners.

Part One of the text sets the stage for understanding the primary considerations in disaster and emergency management research methodology. The balance in looking at both qualitative and quantitative methods discussed in the text allows for holistic approach research, as too often methodological approaches are inclined to a bias of being only quantitative. The chapter by Barbara Russo focuses on the merits of a marriage between quantitative and qualitative data, elaborating on the value of mixed methods research.

Absent from the text is a more comprehensive look at the varieties of qualitative research methods. This would include single case and multicase methodologies extremely valuable both in the broader social sciences field as well as in disaster and Emergency Management. Case study methodology experts Robert Yin and Robert Stake should augment the text,
as there is learning power in the case study as a research methodology. There is also an opportunity to include a review of software systems that can be used to support qualitative analysis to complement the discussion in coverage of quantitative software packages.
NVivo, Dedoose, and others have emerged as Frontline software to support qualitative research, and readers should be aware that complementary to SPSS and other quantitative analysis software, there are powerful counterparts for qualitative analysis.

Overall, I commend the editor and authors of the text for providing a value-added resource for a variety of stakeholders including students and practitioners. I also commend the editor for finding key contributing authors who are women leaders in the disaster and emergency management space. All too often such literature and texts lack gender diversity and key perspectives from women leaders.

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