Recent Developments in Civil Protection and the Implications for Disaster Management in the United Kingdom

November 1994 (VOL. 12, NO. 3)

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This paper will consider how effective the arrangements for coping with potentially life-threatening situations are likely to be, following recent major changes in the funding, role and structure of civil protection in the United Kingdom. Two conflicting forces have been at work creating pressure for changes in civil protection in the UK and other industrial economies in recent years. The end of the Cold War and public sector budget constraints have increased the pressure on Western European governments to realize a ‘peace dividend’ as rapidly as possible, by transferring resources from any form of defence to more productive uses. At the same time the growing public support in Europe for the cause of environmental, and an increasing awareness of the threats to sustainable development posed by modern society, is pushing the same governments towards greater measures of protection against peacetime hazards.