The Political Economy of Hurricane Katrina and Community Rebound

The Political Economy of Hurricane Katrina and Community Rebound

New Thinking in Political Economy series

Edited by Emily Chamlee-Wright and Virgil Henry Storr

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina posed an unprecedented set of challenges to formal and informal systems of disaster response and recovery. Informed by the Virginia School of Political Economy, the contributors to this study critically examine the public policy environment that led to both successes and failures in the post-Katrina disaster response and long-term recovery. Building from this perspective, this book lends critical insight into the nature of the social coordination problems disasters present, the potential for public policy to play a positive role, and the inherent limitations policymakers face in overcoming the myriad challenges that are a product of catastrophic disaster.

Chapter 8: Rock Me Like a Hurricane! How Music Communities Promote Social Capital Adept for Recovery

Daniel J. D’Amico

Subjects: economics and finance, austrian economics, public choice theory, public sector economics, environment, disasters, politics and public policy, public choice


8. Rock me like a hurricane!: how music communities promote social capital adept for recovery Daniel J. D’Amico INTRODUCTION 8.1 When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it affected much more than the buildings, homes, and infrastructure of the city. While the physical damage was obvious, it was more difficult to determine how the storm and flooding would affect the city’s diverse array of social networks. In particular many feared the death of the city’s cultural identity – a critical draw for the New Orleans’ tourist industry. Even if New Orleans did rebuild, would it be the same New Orleans that it once was? While many recovery proposals have correctly noticed that New Orleans’ culture is critical to its tourism, its tourism is critical to its economic prosperity, and an obvious link exists between New Orleans’ culture and its local wealth, such proposals have also suggested top-down policy solutions to plan the process of cultural renewal. This chapter investigates how music communities have engaged in rebound and recovery from the bottom up by deploying social capital resources embedded within their networks. I focus in particular on the Garage Rock and New Orleans’ Jazz music communities. I define music communities as the sub-cultural social networks that surround groups of musicians and fans.1 As will be discussed below, some of these communities were particularly adept at post-hurricane recovery. By analysing the strategies deployed by members of specific music communities, this chapter highlights the importance of social capital in the process of disaster recovery. This...

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