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Where is the danger? What areas are most at risk for earthquakes? Where have the most accidents taken place in the past? Which cities will be most vulnerable in the future? These questions about disasters are all inherently spatial and all mappable in some fashion. Though taken for granted in our information-saturated era, these sorts of maps can be powerful and political, and have not always been in easy reach of the public.
Less easily mappable are the intersections of place and danger through the perspective of governance. Where does the scariest danger come from, at home or abroad? What can we do to protect ourselves? Where does this task of protection fall in our governance structure? These questions all also hinge on space, but cannot be mapped in the same way. Just as governments with their buildings and armies and borders can influence the spaces they occupy, spaces themselves can exert influence back, changing the way governance works based on a shift in understanding of space. The purpose of this research is less to map hazards themselves than to explore changing attitudes toward hazards in the lat Soviet Union and its successor states.