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      Responding to Climate Change Disaster : The Case of the 2019/2020 Bushfires in Australia

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          Abstract

          Abstract. Climate change-induced disasters (e.g., bushfires, droughts, and flooding) occur more frequently and with greater intensity than in previous decades. Disasters can at times fuel social change but that is not guaranteed. To understand whether disasters lead to status quo maintenance or social change, we propose a model (Social Identity Model of Post-Disaster Action; SIMPDA) which focuses on the role of leadership in the aftermath of a disaster. Looking specifically at climate change-related disasters, we propose that intragroup and intergroup dynamics in both the pre-disaster as well as the post-disaster context affect whether leadership (a) has the potential to mobilize social identity resources to enable social change, or else (b) fails to capitalize on emerging social identity resources in ways that ultimately maintain the status quo. Given the importance of urgent climate change action, we predict that status quo maintenance is associated with post-disaster paralysis. In contrast, social change that is set in train by capitalizing on social identity-based resources holds the promise of greater post-disaster learning and enhanced disaster preparedness when it is focused on addressing the challenges brought about by climate change. We apply this model to understand responses to the 2019/2020 bushfires in Australia. Our analysis suggests that while an emerging sense of shared identity centered on acting to tackle climate change provides a window of opportunity for securing increased disaster preparedness, this opportunity risks being missed due to, among other things, the absence of leaders able and willing to engage in constructive identity-based leadership.

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          Most cited references34

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          HISTORICAL INSTITUTIONALISM IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS

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            The Study of Critical Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism

            The causal logic behind many arguments in historical institutionalism emphasizes the enduring impact of choices made during critical junctures in history. These choices close off alternative options and lead to the establishment of institutions that generate self-reinforcing path-dependent processes. Despite the theoretical and practical importance of critical junctures, however, analyses of path dependence often devote little attention to them. The article reconstructs the concept of critical junctures, delimits its range of application, and provides methodological guidance for its use in historical institutional analyses. Contingency is the key characteristic of critical junctures, and counterfactual reasoning and narrative methods are necessary to analyze contingent factors and their impact. Finally, the authors address specific issues relevant to both cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons of critical junctures.
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              MOTIVATING INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS AT WORK: A SOCIAL IDENTITY PERSPECTIVE ON LEADERSHIP AND GROUP PERFORMANCE.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                epp
                European Psychologist
                Hogrefe Publishing
                1016-9040
                1878-531X
                July 15, 2021
                July 2021
                : 26
                : 3 , Special Issue: Psychology and the Environmental Crisis
                : 161-171
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ]School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia
                Author notes
                Jolanda Jetten, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, 4072 St. Lucia, QLD, Australia, E-mail j.jetten@ 123456psy.uq.edu.au
                Article
                epp_26_3_161
                10.1027/1016-9040/a000432
                fd041ed8-d449-498c-83f4-e01ede751439
                Product
                Self URI (journal-page): https://econtent.hogrefe.com/loi/epp
                Funding
                Funding: This work has been supported by the Australian Research Council (AU), grant no. FL180100094 to Jolanda Jetten.
                Categories
                Original Articles and Reviews

                Psychology,General behavioral science
                leadership,social identity approach,disaster preparedness,climate change

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