The broader political implications of citizens’ perceptions about disaster response policy

Thursday, 12 May 2016
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Yudowitz Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical School Building, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ

As part of the University of Glasgow Q-Step Centre’s first year celebration, they are presenting their first lecture demonstrating the use of quantitative methods in examining real world issues.

Professor Schneider is a leading figure in policy and public administration studies in the US and will be giving a talk looking at what citizens expect from government when disasters occur.  Following her talk there will be a brief discussion regarding the quantitative methods used to examine the research question, after which guests will have an opportunity to talk with Professor Schneider regarding questions they have related to the topic and methods used.

Following Professor Schneider’s talk, coffee and tea will be served in the atrium.


What do citizens expect various levels of government to do when disaster strikes? Do people’s preferences for intergovernmental policy activity in disasters affect their assessments of governmental performance? I examine these questions using data from the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study. The results show that American public beliefs different levels of government should be responsible for different phases of the process. But, a majority of citizens want the national government to provide leadership throughout the entire relief effort. There is a mutually reinforcing connection between citizens’ beliefs about national government involvement in disasters and their political evaluations of presidential performance. But, the impact of people’s policy preferences for national government leadership during disasters on presidential approval is much stronger than the opposite path of influence. These findings have important implications for understanding the linkages between citizens’ beliefs about intergovernmental policy responsibilities and their evaluations of political leadership and governmental performance.