Preventing Industrial Crises: The Challenges of Bhopal

November 1987 (VOL. 5, NO. 3)

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This article analyzes the larger policy issues raised by the Bhopal disaster. The concept of industrial crisis is used as the analytical tool for understanding Bhopal type events. Industrial crisis refers to dysfunctional effects of industrial activities that cause large scale damage (or perception of large scale damage) to human life and the natural environment. They also put public at risk of large damage and lead to major social and economic disruptions. Bhopal was the quintessential industrial crisis of this century. Industrial crises involve three primary stakeholders--governments, corporations and communities. It is argued that joint actions by stakeholders are necessary to prevent industrial crises. Policy issues that each stakeholder must address are examined.