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Promoting public resilience against CBRN terrorism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic Intelligence Management
Subtitle of host publicationNational Security Imperatives and Information and Communications Technologies
EditorsBabak Akhgar, Simeon Yates
PublisherElsevier Butterworth-Heinemann
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780124071919
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2013

King's Authors


In this chapter, we examine how public resilience against terrorist attacks using chemical, biological, radiological and/or nuclear (CBRN) agents can be promoted. The case of CBRN is particularly interesting for the study of public resilience because the uncertain and dreaded nature of the hazard and its consequences suggests the potential for a particularly strong impact on the mental and physical health of individuals, as well as on their behaviour. We argue that in order to mitigate the adverse impacts on health and ensure behaviour that facilitates response and recovery to emergencies, policy-makers, law enforcement and emergency management authorities need to devise effective crisis and risk communication strategies. The communication strategies need to take into account a set of four factors that require the integration of insights from social psychology and other social sciences, as well as a thorough engagement with members of the public. These factors include: 1) public perception of risk; 2) public perception of authorities; 3) public perception of response and self efficacy; and 4) quality and timing of risk communication.

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