Author Biography

Natalie D. Baker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Security Studies at Sam Houston State University. She has examined the Ebola scare in the United States, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and earthquake preparedness at a large university in Southern California. She has published in major disaster and sociology journals and presented at international, interdisciplinary conferences across the world. At the heart of her research, she uses interdisciplinary studies to understand how people make sense of and interpret threats, such as extreme violence, and is interested in how social order is enacted, transmitted, and understood in different contexts. She received her PhD degree in Planning, Policy, and Design from the University of California, Irvine, in 2013.



Subject Area Keywords

Complex emergencies, National security, Science and technology & security, Security studies, Sociocultural dynamics in security


The characterization of human social response in crisis is most often apocalyptic and dystopic, especially when connected to environmental detriments expected from climate change. This article draws on the cases of zombie apocalypse experts and climate-fiction to situate an investigation into how diametric forms of knowledge compete, dominate, and then replicate in mediated popular culture as forms of truth. It builds on extensive work in areas of both lived disaster response and mythologies. The article links certain philosophies to popular culture as a driver in the construction of knowledge and truth. Here, Foucault and his conceptions of power and knowledge are used as epistemological lenses. The article also theorizes about the role of societal boredom that explains the power of fantasy over empirical science. Another goal of the article is to articulate the implications of this work on practical issues connected to climate change and human security. Mainly, the article argues the perpetuation of anarchy fantasies can foster and justify policies oriented towards social control.