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A grievance-based theory of protests suggests that the underlying structural causes are social and economic group disparities, political exclusion, along with population pressures. To turn these all too common conditions into active political behavior requires a triggering event. When a damage-loss is the primary consequence of a disaster, the government and international community can compensate victims by providing rebuilding and reconstruction aid. However, when the disaster results in high numbers of fatalities, the government and international community cannot adequately compensate survivors for their losses. Grievances cannot be easily or effectively eliminated, and survivors and their supporters mobilize for change even if they are likely to face state repression.
Clair Apodaca offers a unique contribution to our understanding of human rights violations. She effectively shows that there is a causal process between hazard events, protest activities, and government repression, a finding that is key to scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers working in this field.
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