Emergency Response to Mumbai Terror Attacks: An Activity Theory Analysis

Emergency Response to Mumbai Terror Attacks: An Activity Theory Analysis

Divya Shankar (University of Buffalo at SUNY New York, USA), Manish Agrawal (University of South Florida, USA) and H. Raghav Rao (University of Buffalo at SUNY New York, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-123-2.ch004
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Abstract

The Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 lasted for over 60 hours and resulted in the death of over 172 people. The attack revealed several shortcomings of the emergency response preparedness in Mumbai. This chapter concentrates on the emergency response provided and uses activity theory to analyze it. The authors explore the diverse dimensions of emergency, determine the lessons learned from the incident and evaluate the emergency response. They suggest how operations could be improved thus setting a standard for any future emergency response.
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Literature Review

The following literature reviews highlight the usefulness of Activity Theory. We also draw attention to emergency-as-activity and describe the emergency response activities of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Activity Theory may be outlined by five fundamental principles as suggested by Engestrom –

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