Bridging the disconnect between development and disaster: A first step


  • Chad R. Miller, PhD
  • Ian A. Birdsall, PhD



Katrina, transportation infrastructure, economic development


This article is an attempt to shed light on the development/ disaster disconnect highlighted by McEntire. Specifically, the authors examine how economic development influences the administration of transportation infrastructure rebuilding following a disaster. As economic development is a mixture of politics and economics, the authors use the Wamsley and Zald political/ economy analysis approach to frame the research. The authors examine case studies of post-Katrina reconstruction representing different organizational forms including CSX’s coast railroad, Mississippi Department of Transportation’s replacement of the Bay St. Louis Bridge, and the Mississippi State Port Authority’s rehabilitation of the Port of Gulfport to help understand how the political/economy context impacts the administration of the postdisaster rebuilding of transportation infrastructure. Finally, the authors develop hypotheses and recommend further research, including the possible expanded use of Kingdon’s policy stream theory, to further understand the administration of the rebuilding of transportation infrastructure in the wake of a disaster.

Author Biographies

Chad R. Miller, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Economic and Workforce Development, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Ian A. Birdsall, PhD

Managing Partner, Koodwee Consulting, Woodville, Georgia.


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How to Cite

Miller, PhD, C. R., and I. A. Birdsall, PhD. “Bridging the Disconnect Between Development and Disaster: A First Step”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 8, no. 4, July 2010, pp. 25-36, doi:10.5055/jem.2010.0023.