Natural disasters frequently bring serious accusations against political actors. Yet such disasters also provide them with numerous opportunities to claim credit for their accomplishment in the recovery process. After a massive catastrophe, local political actors, who closely communicate with the constituents in affected areas, play an important role in connecting their needs to local and national resources. They, for instance, lobby national government to bring in disaster recovery money and projects to their districts. Because they are able to strengthen their ties with local residents through their activities in the recovery process, disasters create the possibility to change the local political landscape. Using unique survey data drawn from more than 240 local assembly members at the municipal level in the Tohoku region of Japan, this study demonstrates that the March 11, 2011, compounded disasters, affected how local-elected officials perceived the level of political support given from local residents.
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