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The Political Economy of Hazards and Disasters

Edited by Eric C. Jones and Arthur D. Murphy - Contributions by Margaret Brown; Shelly Brown; Christopher L. Dyer; Timothy J. Finan; Vishwas D. Gogte; Olaf Jaime-Riveron; Steve Kroll-Smith; Chapurukha M. Kusimba; Ty Matejowsky; Donald R. Nelson; Rahul Oka; Anthony Oliver-Smith; Christopher Pool; Alan Smart; Josephine Smart; Graham A. Tobin; Jennifer Trivedi; Megan Underhill; Linda M. Whiteford and Leslie Lea Williams

Throughout history, societies have had to decide whom to "sacrifice" and whom to help in times of disaster. This volume examines how elite groups attempt to maintain power through the use of particular economic, political, and ideological instruments and how both ruling elites and common people endeavor to create meaningful traditions while enduring hardship.The Political Economy of Hazards and Disasters demonstrates how vulnerability is economically constructed, primary producers adapt their production regimes, how traders and merchants adapt their practices, and how political economic objectives play out in recovery efforts. « less more »
AltaMira Press
Pages: 366Size: 6 1/2 x 9 3/8
978-0-7591-1309-1 • Hardback • April 2009 • $110.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-7591-1311-4 • eBook • May 2009 • $104.00 • (£70.00)
Eric C. Jones is research scientist in the department of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Arthur D. Murphy is professor in the department of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Part 1 I. Economic Parameters of Disasters
Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Linking Broad-scale Political Economic Contexts to Fine-scale Economic Consequences in Disaster Research
Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Anthropology and the Political Economy of Disasters
Part 4 II. Class-Based Vulnerability in Disaster Exposure, Impact and Recovery
Chapter 5 Chapter 3. "The Dam Is Becoming Dangerous and May Possibly Go:" The paleodemography and political economy of the Johnstown flood of 1889
Chapter 6 Chapter 4. The invisible toll of Katrina: How social and economic resources are altering the recovery experience among Katrina evacuees in Colorado
Chapter 7 Chapter 5. Recovering inequality: Democracy, the market economy and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire
Part 8 III. The Line between Hazard and Disaster for Primary Producers
Chapter 9 Chapter 6. Weak Winters: Dynamic decision-making in the face of extended drought in Ceará, northeast Brazil
Chapter 10 Chapter 7. The Impact of Volcanic Hazards on the Ancient Olmec and Epi-Olmec Economies in Los Tuxtlas Region, Veracruz, Mexico
Chapter 11 Chapter 8. If the Pyroclastic Flow Doesn't Kill You, the Recovery Will: Cascading impacts of Mt. Tungurahua's eruptions in rural Ecuador
Part 12 IV. Product Distribution in Hazardous Settings
Chapter 13 Chapter 9. When the Lights Go Out: Understanding natural hazard and merchant "brownout" behavior in the provincial Philippines
Chapter 14 Chapter 10. Where Others Fear to Trade: Modeling adaptive resilience in ethnic trading networks to famines, maritime warfare and imperial stability in the growing Indian Ocean economy, ca. 1500-1700 CE
Chapter 15 Chapter 11. Madagascar's Cyclone Vulnerability and the Global Vanilla Economy
Part 16 V. Political Economic Mitigation of Disasters
Chapter 17 Chapter 12. Learning from Disaster? Mad cows, squatter fires and temporality in repeated crises
Chapter 18 Chapter 13. . "Hurricanes Did Not Just Start Happening": Expectations of intervention in the Mississippi Gulf Coast casino industry
Chapter 19 Chapter 14. From the Phoenix Effect to Punctuated Entropy: The culture of response as a unifying paradigm of disaster mitigation and recovery
This book engages the reader by providing two novel perspectives on disaster response tailored to an anthropological audience. First, the chapters present a broad perspective on the culture of response as seen through the lenses of diverse case studies based on archaeological, biological, cultural anthropological, and even linguistic data. The chapters also go beyond a consideration of economic and political factors in the analysis of disaster responses by documenting the impacts of disasters on the daily lives of ordinary persons.
Richard Blanton, Purdue University

I enjoyed this analytical collection of disaster studies and am impressed by its uniform excellence and many contributions to this ripening field of research. Disasters fill the daily news, crying out for explanation and action. Jones and Murphy and their collaborators analyze a superbly representative collection of disaster experiences from the Americas and elsewhere. The 'culture of response' is revealed through provocative theoretical analysis and close examination of the facts on the ground to highlight the commonality of themes that characterize the ways in which people deal with disasters, what ever their cause. The book's depth of theoretical understanding coupled with numerous lessons for those who would mitigate the impacts of calamities is an outstanding collective achievement, rarely found in edited volumes. This fascinating and instructive set of cases from the archaeological past to contemporary catastrophes is enlightening in every respect.
Paul L. Doughty, Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus, University of Florida