Professor David J. Hess, Science and Technology Studies Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
'Hurricane Katrina raised far more questions than answers about natural disasters. How are disasters 'political'? How are disasters shaped by the natural environment as they shape it? What does culture mean for disaster vulnerability and resilience? Dynamics of Disaster is an outstanding collection of essays by senior researchers and bright and energetic young scholars, who come together here to answer these questions, and more. This book places Katrina, and the idea of disaster, in a global context, and draws on a wide range of disciplines and approaches. It is a must-read book for those interested in cutting-edge research on disasters.'
Thomas A. Birkland, William T. Kretzer Professor of Public Policy, North Carolina State University
'Disasters are often blamed on the whims of nature, but we rest in such simplistic explanations at our peril. As the essays in this volume make clear, even disasters widely perceived as 'natural' typically implicate human artifacts, organizations, technologies, and choices. Building on research in Science and Technology Studies and other social science fields, the authors show how disasters are embedded in, and shaped by, the societies in which they unfold. Dynamics of Disaster should be required reading not only for disaster managers but also for urban planners, engineers, and others engaged in designing the built environment and managing technological systems.'
Stephen Hilgartner, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University