Title: The People's Home goes Gulliver: Sweden and the 2004 tsunami crisis

Authors: Stephanie Buus

Addresses: Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Box 27035, 102 51 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Ranging from epidemic outbreaks and natural disasters to terrorist attacks, the modern world has witnessed radical political change in recent years. The tourism industry is no exception, and we see policy-makers, scholars and officials working hard to mitigate the negative economic, political and societal effects of tourism-related incidents, not only on destination countries, but increasingly also on sending countries. Some of these changes and reforms have been more concrete and immediate in sending countries. In a country like Sweden, for example, we see the creation of an independent Catastrophe Commission (Katastrofkommission) charged with investigating the Swedish tsunami response and producing an extensive final report of its findings; the election of a new centre-right government in September 2006 and the creation of a new consular catastrophe law in August 2010 aimed at better regulating Swedish travel abroad. Using Sweden as an example, the present article explores some of the ways in which questions of authority, security, identity and power intertwine in a post-tsunami Sweden bent on protecting an increasingly mobile and exposed populace touristing beyond its borders. This article also looks briefly at how Sweden|s young consular catastrophe law can be interpreted in light of this heightened move to protect.

Keywords: Sweden; Lemuel Gulliver; Jonathan Swift; Gulliver|s Travels; Indian Ocean; South Asian tsunami; Indonesia; Sri Lanka; India; Thailand; earthquakes; tidal waves; People|s Home; international tourism; laws; governance; nation-states; critical security; Michel Foucault; global epidemics; disease; natural disasters; terrorist attacks; radical change; politics; political change; societal effects; tourism-related incidents; destination countries; sending countries; Catastrophe Commission; Katastrofkommission; centre-right governments; consular catastrophe law; foreign travel; governmental regulation; authority; identity; power; state protection; mobile populace; exposed populace; citizens; MS Estonia; maritime disasters; ships; Baltic Sea; shipwrecks; tourism; anthropology; tourist industry; tourists; risk; hospitality; disaster management; emergency management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2011.043711

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2011 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.293 - 303

Available online: 14 Nov 2011 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article