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Managing Disasters through Public–Private Partnerships

Ami J. Abou-bakr

Publication Year: 2012

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, generated a great deal of discussion in public policy and disaster management circles about the importance of increasing national resilience to rebound from catastrophic events. Since the majority of physical and virtual networks that the United States relies upon are owned and operated by the private sector, a consensus has emerged that public–private partnerships (PPPs) are a crucial aspect of an effective resilience strategy. Significant barriers to cooperation persist, however, despite acknowledgment that public–private collaboration for managing disasters would be mutually beneficial.

Managing Disasters through Public–Private Partnerships constitutes the first in-depth exploration of PPPs as tools of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and resilience in the United States. The author assesses the viability of PPPs at the federal level and explains why attempts to develop these partnerships have largely fallen short. The book assesses the recent history and current state of PPPs in the United States, with particular emphasis on the lessons of 9/11 and Katrina, and discusses two of the most significant PPPs in US history, the Federal Reserve System and the War Industries Board from World War I. The author develops two original frameworks to compare different kinds of PPPs and analyzes the critical factors that make them successes or failures, pointing toward ways to improve collaboration in the future.

This book should be of interest to researchers and students in public policy, public administration, disaster management, infrastructure protection, and security; practitioners who work on public–private partnerships; and corporate as well as government emergency management professionals and specialists.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Series: Public Management and Change series


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Front Matter

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List of Tables

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p. ix

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pp. xi-xii

In 2010 and 2011 the world watched as an Icelandic volcano brought European air travel to a standstill, was horrified at the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti, and was appalled by the Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan. Disasters, be they caused by nature or man, occur and invariably affect the...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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pp. 1-14

In Managing Disasters through Public–Private Partnerships, I examine the viability of public–private partnerships (PPP) as tools of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and resilience in the United States.1 I explore how and why “disaster-oriented PPPs” developed in the United States, understand the infrastructures...

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CHAPTER ONE: The Emergence of Disaster-Oriented PPPs

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pp. 15-42

In the last decade the United States has witnessed no fewer than twenty-one significant disasters within its borders. These include natural and man-made disasters that range from devastating terrorist attacks to catastrophic floods, hurricanes, electrical blackouts, and wildfires.1 Beyond its borders, the United States has...

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CHAPTER TWO: Assessing Disaster-Oriented PPPs

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pp. 43-90

Although there is general agreement among industry, government, and the public in the United States that public–private cooperation is in their shared interests, significant barriers to cooperation remain. Despite the clear progression of policy designed to facilitate cooperation, there has been a significant gap between policymaking...

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CHAPTER THREE: The Federal Reserve, a Strategic Alliance

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pp. 91-129

The concept of a public–private partnership for disaster management is in its infancy in the United States. While there is a widespread sense that cross-sector cooperation is imperative, there no clear way forward. In this chapter I aim to determine if any lessons from an established, strategic cross-sector partnership (the Federal Reserve...

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CHAPTER FOUR: The War Industries Board, a Responsive Alliance

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pp. 130-170

Responsive alliances are created as a reaction to a particular crisis and are established not to resolve the cause of the crisis itself but to face a national challenge that has developed because of crisis. In the case of the World War I crisis, the War Industries Board (WIB) was established as a responsive cross-sector partnership to...

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CHAPTER FIVE: Comparing the Frameworks and the Identity Crisis of Disaster-Oriented PPPs

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pp. 171-193

The previous chapters explore disaster-oriented PPPs, the Fed, and WIB in depth. This chapter compares and contrasts each of the organizations to one another to determine whether disaster-oriented PPPs are more suited to a strategic or responsive framework and to establish the degree to which the seven critical factors...

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pp. 195-200

As an emerging topic of research, this book draws together empirical and historical research to provide the first comprehensive assessment of disaster-oriented public–private partnerships. This book explores, debates, analyzes, and compares disaster-oriented PPPs, the Fed, and the WIB to accomplish two primary objectives. The...

Appendix: Interview Participants

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pp. 201-202


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pp. 203-216


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pp. 217-227

E-ISBN-13: 9781589019515
E-ISBN-10: 1589019512
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589019508
Print-ISBN-10: 1589019504

Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 5 figures
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Public Management and Change series
Series Editor Byline: Beryl A. Radin, Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 823577549
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Managing Disasters through Public–Private Partnerships

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Disaster relief -- United States.
  • Emergency management -- United States.
  • Public-private sector cooperation -- United States.
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