Intergovernmental Relations in Response to the 1999 Marmara Earthquake in Turkey: A Network Analysis

November 2005 (VOL. 23, NO. 3)

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This research examines the intergovernmental coordination to reduce vulnerability of local communities to disasters. Turkey’s exposure to seismic risk is very high and achieving intergovernmental coordination in response operations is a challenge. The formal bureaucratic structure of the disaster management inhibits timely collective action in complex disaster environments. The paper examines one of the most destructive regional disasters of the last century, the 1999 Marmara earthquake. The research uses data from content analyses of news reports, interviews with public and nonprofit managers, and direct field observations. This analysis was carried out using UCINET 6.0 social network analysis software program. The results of the network analysis have shown that there is a problem of communication and coordination among public agencies in response to the disaster. Moreover, the integration of organizations from different jurisdictions and other sectors was problematic in the response operations. The results of the study reveal the leverage points for improving intergovernmental collective action from the perspective of complex adaptive systems theory.