Expanding the disaster risk management framework: Measuring the constructed level of national identity as a factor of political risk
Van der Waldt, Gerrit
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Political risk is identified as a dominant risk category of disaster risk management (DRM) which could negatively affect the success of those measures implemented to reduce disaster risk. Key to political risk is the construct of national identity which, if poorly constructed, could greatly contribute to political risk. This article proposed a tool to measure the construct of national identity and to provide recommendations to strengthen the construct in order to mitigate the exacerbating influence it may have on political risk and ultimately on DRM. The design of the measurement tool consisted of a mixed methodological approach employing both quantitative and qualitative data. The data collection instruments included a literature review (which is shortly provided in the previous sections) and an empirical study that utilised data obtained through structured questionnaires. Although the results of the proposed measuring instrument did not include a representative sample of all the cultures in South Africa, the results alluded to different levels for the construction of national identity among black and white respondents, possibly because of different ideological expectations among these groups. The results of the study should be considered as a validation of the measuring tool and not necessarily of the construct of national identity in South Africa. The measuring tool is thus promising for future studies to reduce political risk and ultimately disaster risk.