Dealing with Disaster - Analyzing the Emergency Constitutions of the U.S. States
29 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2017
Date Written: June 30, 2017
The study of constitutional emergency provisions remains in its infancy. We present the first overview and analysis of how specific emergency provisions vary across the 50 US state constitutions. The emergency provisions vary considerably across states with the Texan constitution exhibiting the most limited provisions and Georgia the most expansive ones. A cluster analysis shows support for dividing the U.S. constitutions into six 'families' and reveals the Texan constitution as substantially different from the rest. We explore whether these constitutional choices may have been affected by disaster risk, prevailing ideology, state wealth and other factors for which historical data exist. We provide tentative evidence showing that emergency provisions have a significant effect on both the number of fatalities as well as on the damage suffered in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Clearly, therefore, the paper has implications for constitutional policy.
Keywords: constitutional emergency provisions, state of emergency, état de siege, regime transformation
JEL Classification: K40, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation