Disasters are responsible for main disruptions in individuals and communities' lives, affecting their prosperity. The research on this topic is motivated by the increasing number of natural hazards deteriorating into catastrophic events as a result of antropogenic factors. By focusing on how institutions, their decision-making processes, and procedural arrangements, affect multi-actor coordination in international and national disasters, with a three-paper structure, this work represents a systematic investigation of the role of institutions in disaster operations. The second chapter investigates the decision-making process of the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) about the strategy of coordination to adopt when civilians and militaries are involved in humanitarian operations in disaster-affected countries. The results of the archival research, content, analysis, and interviews, show that in insecure settings, such as where the disaster affected-country has low state capacity, civilians and militaries are more likely to merely coexist in the field rather than cooperating. The third and fourth chapters explore the role of political representation and electoral competition in the United States (US) and how differences in the political status between States and Territories can affect their emergency management capabilities in the preparedness, response, and recovery phases. Chapter three investigates political representation via content analysis and interviews, showing how the limited representation and no voting rights at the Congress can prevent Territories in advocating for emergency management legislation and budgeting. Chapter four investigates electoral competion via statistical and spatial analysis, showing how being a State or a Territory, does not matter when it comes to the federal public assistance, and what it does is the electoral competitiveness of the county/municipality and whether it hosts government's offices.


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Graduation Date





Kinsey, Barbara


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences


School of Politics, Security and International Affairs

Degree Program

Security Studies


CFE0009823; DP0027764





Release Date

June 2026

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until June 2026; it will then be open access.