Cascading effects in crises: categorisation and analysis of triggers

Kim Hagen, Meropi Tzanetakis, Hayley Watson 


The analysis of cascading effects in crisis situations can enhance crisis managers’ understanding of how crises unfold and what prominent triggers of cascading effects are. By identifying and categorising triggers of cascading effects, a greater understanding of critical points in crisis situations can be reached, which can contribute to strengthening practices of crisis management, including preparedness and response. Accordingly, this paper provides an insight into triggers of cascading effects, gained through the analysis of six case studies of crises that took place between 1999 and 2014. The analysis produced six categories of triggers, which are discussed here: the disruption of pre-existing relations of information, organisation, and supply, disturbance relations, pre-disaster conditions, and the malfunctioning of legal and regulatory relations. Authors argue that the categorisation of triggers aids anticipating cascading effects, along with predicting risks and planning for potential bottlenecks in crisis management.

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