The Political Economy of Hurricane Katrina and Community Rebound
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The Political Economy of Hurricane Katrina and Community Rebound

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.
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Chapter 6: The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Post-Katrina Community Recovery

Emily Chamlee-Wright and Virgil Henry Storr


1 Emily Chamlee-Wright and Virgil Henry Storr2 INTRODUCTION 6.1 This chapter explores the role of social entrepreneurship in post-Katrina community recovery. Hurricane Katrina devastated the Greater New Orleans region. The storm and the flooding that followed it displaced over half a million people and caused over a hundred billion dollars in damage. Sadly, four years after Katrina some of these devastated communities are still not firmly on the path to recovery. Some communities, however, have proved to be quite resilient and are well on their way to recovery. Much of the diverse scholarly literature that has emerged since the storm has focused on the government’s response to Katrina and its ‘central role’ in disaster prevention and recovery efforts (Burby 2006; Pipa 2006). And, though to a lesser extent, there have been discussions of the significance of commercial entrepreneurship to community rebound (Zolin and Kropp 2007). But, unfortunately, not much attention in the academic literature has been paid to the critical role that social entrepreneurship is playing in the communities that are moving toward recovery (see, for instance, Kaufman et al. 2007) and there is almost no discussion of the barriers that are inhibiting social entrepreneurs from bringing about improvement in the communities that are still reeling from Katrina. This relative silence is somewhat surprising given how well social entrepreneurs reportedly performed key relief functions (particularly when compared to government) in the immediate aftermath of Katrina (Pipa 2006). There are, of course, some important exceptions. Lacho et al. (2006), for instance,...

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