Russell Dynes

  • In MEMORIAM, Disaster Research Center
  • Founder, Disaster Research Center


PHONE: 302-831-6618

BIO INFO: Associated Projects | CV/Resume


Dr. Dynes was one of the founding directors of DRC and is widely known as one of the founding figures in the social science of disasters. He passed away in 2019.

Among other achievements, during his distinguished career, he served as chair of the Department of Sociology at the Ohio State University and the University of Delaware. From 1977-82, he was Executive Officer, American Sociological Association in Washington, DC. From 1976-79, he chaired the Committee on International Disaster Assistance, National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council and in 1979, he served as head of the Task Force on Emergency Preparedness and Response for the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island. From 1986-90, he served as President, Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association. He was a Fulbright lecturer in Egypt, India, and Thailand, as well as a Visiting Professor at University College, Cardiff.

Selected Publications

Dr. Dynes authored or edited ten books, including Organized Behavior in Disaster, Sociology of Collective Behavior and Disasters, Collective Behavior and Social Organization and well over 100 articles, many on disaster-related topics. A few of his more recent works include:

Rodríguez, Havidán; Enrico L. Quarantelli, and Russell R. Dynes (editors). HANDBOOK OF DISASTER RESEARCH. New York: Springer; 2006; ISBN: 0-387-32331-7

Dynes, Russell R. THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE OF 1755: THE FIRST MODERN DISASTER. Braun, Theodore E. D. and John B. Radner (eds.), editors. THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE OF 1755: REPRESENTATIONS AND REACTIONS. Oxford, UK: Voltaire Foundation; 2005; pp. 34-49.

Dynes, Russell R. and Havidán Rodríguez. FINDING AND FRAMING KATRINA: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DISASTER [Web Page]. 2005 Oct 21; Accessed 2005 Nov 14. Available at:http://understandingkatrina.ssrc.or.

Dynes, Russell R. SOCIAL CAPITAL: DEALING WITH COMMUNITY EMERGENCIES. Homeland Security Affairs. 2006 Jul; 2(2).

Dynes, Russell R. PANIC AND THE VISION OF COLLECTIVE INCOMPETENCE. Natural Hazards Observer. 2006 Nov; 31(2):5-6.​