Daniel P. Aldrich is professor and director of the Security and Resilience Program at Northeastern University. He has published five books, more than 45 peer reviewed articles, and written op-eds for The New York Times, CNN, Asahi Shinbun, along with appearing on popular media outlets such as CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, and HuffPost. His research has been funded by the Fulbright Foundation, the Abe Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, and he has carried out more than five years of fieldwork in Japan, India, Africa, and the Gulf Coast.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Harvard University: Ph.D., Government 2005
University of California, Berkeley: M.S., Asian Studies & Japanese Politics 1998
- American Political Science Association : Section Organizer, Disasters and Crises Working Group
Media Appearances (5)
Japan Anti-Nuke Movement Seen Unscathed After Key Governor Quits
“It is likely that the next governor will continue an anti-restart policy,” Daniel Aldrich, a professor at Northeastern University, said in an email. “Anti-nuclear sentiment is still high across the country.”...
Dry, The Beloved Country
But the government hasn’t gotten much credit for this. Nor will it, probably. Daniel Aldrich, a disaster resilience researcher at Northeastern University, told me that his multi-country research suggested that a loss of trust in government after a disaster was typical, even inevitable. He’d conducted extensive fieldwork in Japan after the 2011 tsunami, which, he said, helped turn Japan from “one of the most trusting countries to the least.” People forge new bonds in the face of a common enemy, initially nature, he explained; once that enemy dissipates, though, unhappy at the thought of giving up their new faith in each other, they look around for a new target...
Why social media apps should be in your disaster kit
With floodwaters at four feet and rising, a family in Houston, Texas abandoned their possessions and scrambled to their roof during Hurricane Harvey to sit with their pets and await rescue. Unable to reach first responders through 911 and with no one visible nearby, they used their cellphones to send out a call for help through a social media application called Nextdoor.
Hurricanes Don't Kill Cities ― People Do
Urban resiliency requires two things: an ability to learn from experience and, per Northeastern University’s resiliency expert Daniel Aldrich, a commitment on the part of its residents to improve their city...
Harvey Brings out the 'Hidden Capacity in Civil Society' to Respond
Professor Daniel Aldrich, director of the Security and Resilience Program at Northeastern, agreed. He noted the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s role in encouraging volunteers to assist in the response effort—more so than in past disasters—under the new leadership of Brock Long, who took over as FEMA administrator earlier this year. “What we’re seeing is a bottom-up, emergent response,” Aldrich said...
For 400 years, residents in the Inupiaq Eski-mo town of Shishmaref, Alaska—population around 600—built and lived in homes on a narrow island of sand just three miles long, protected from the frigid waters of the Chukchi Sea by layers of ice. Their subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and gathering remained largely unchanged. But in recent years, warming seas and rising air temperatures have melted permafrost and ice, allowing the water to come right up to homes on the shore. Some previously inhabited structures have collapsed. The sea has swallowed up 100 feet of coastline over 20 years. Physical infrastructure built to keep the town safe—such as rock seawalls—has only slowed the sea's inexorable conquest or deflected currents to eat away at the sand and rocks up or down the beach. Fourteen homes have already been towed from the town's more vulnerable side …
The factors that explain the speed of recovery after disaster remain contested. While many have argued that physical infrastructure, social capital, and disaster damage influence the arc of recovery, empirical studies that test these various factors within a unified modeling framework are few. We conducted a mail survey to collect data on household recovery in four small towns in southern Indiana that were hit by deadly tornadoes in March 2012. The recovery effort is ongoing; while many of the homes, businesses, and community facilities were rebuilt in 2013, some are still under construction. We investigate how households in these communities are recovering from damage that they experienced and the role of social capital, personal networks, and assistance from emergency responders on the overall recovery experience. We used an ordered probit modeling framework to test the …
The 2010 Pakistan floods affected a tenth of the population of that nation and one-fifth of its land, killing more than 1,700 people. Many observers have wondered the degree to which mass emergencies affect how residents see their decision-makers. We use original survey data from 450 Pakistan residents to evaluate the degree to which social and institutional trust were correlated with flood damage. Controlling for gender, educational level, occupation and flood experience, high material loss during the flood was negatively correlated with postflood trust levels. In contrast, housing stability and perceived fairness in the distribution of disaster aid were positively correlated with postflood levels of trust. Our study confirms past research on the variability of trust in postdisaster situations and the importance of investing in state–civil society relations.
Pakistan suffered large-scale flooding in summer 2010 that caused damage amounting to approximately USD 43 billion, claimed the lives of at least 1,700 people, and negatively affected some 20 million others. Observers have debated the degree to which social capital plays a role in recovery after a catastrophe of this magnitude. Using new survey data on 450 residents impacted by the disaster, this study found that, controlling for various confounding factors, the social capital levels of victims serve as robust correlates of life recovery. Other important variables connected with recovery include education and income, family size, occupation, material damage suffered, stability of home, and trauma experience. The findings point to a number of relevant policy recommendations, most notably that during and following major shocks, disaster managers should work to keep the social networks of …
The March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan resulted in an increased risk of psychological distress among affected residents. We conducted original surveys of Futaba residents, a town in Fukushima where all of the residents were forced to evacuate from their homes due to radioactive contamination, obtaining 585 responses (a response rate of about 20%). Using this original data set, we investigate the role of social capital in maintaining mental health among the residents. First, we found the level of stress captured by the Kessler index (K6) to be unusually high compared both with people across Japan and with those who were displaced because of the earthquake and/or tsunami (but not the nuclear catastrophe). However, having high levels of social capital—captured by the number of neighbors from Futaba after displacement, participation in volunteer work after …