This paper shows that active government performance, in addition to generous aid, increases loyalty to the authorities among people directly affected by the disaster and those who could observe governmental performance. This is especially striking given that many people did blame the government for the occurrence of forest fires. Thus our study draws attention to the need to consider the government’s response and the passage of time in order to resolve the difference in findings between the blind retrospection and voter gratitude literatures. In other words, in situations where governments have time and ability to respond to disasters with effective relief, blame no longer translates into constituent vengeance.
Trial by Fire: A Natural Disaster’s Impact on Support for the Authorities in Rural Russia. World Politics. 2014. Vol. 66. No. 4 (with Yegor Lazarev, Anton Sobolev, Boris Sokolov) [SSRN]
Featured Image: National Geographic.