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1 - Governing after crisis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2010

Arjen Boin
Affiliation:
Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management and Public Administration Institute and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Louisiana State University
Allan Mcconnell
Affiliation:
Associate Professor (Public Policy) in the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
Paul 't Hart
Affiliation:
Professor of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, and Professor of Public Administration, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University
Arjen Boin
Affiliation:
Louisiana State University
Allan McConnell
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
Paul 't Hart
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
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Summary

The politics of crisis management: an introduction

In all societies, life as usual is punctuated from time to time by critical episodes marked by a sense of threat and uncertainty that shatters people's understanding of the world around them. We refer to these episodes in terms of crisis.

Crises are triggered in a variety of ways; for example, by natural forces (earthquakes, hurricanes, torrential rains, ice storms, epidemics and the like) or by the deliberate acts of ‘others’ (‘enemies’) inside or outside that society (international conflict and war, terrorist attacks, large-scale disturbances). But they may also find their roots in malfunctions of a society's sociotechnical and political administrative systems (infrastructure breakdowns, industrial accidents, economic busts and political scandals).

Some crises affect communities as a whole (think of floods or volcanic eruptions), others directly threaten only a few members of the community, but their occurrence is widely publicised and evokes incomprehension, indignation or fear in many others (child pornography rings, police corruption, bombing campaigns). Yet the very occurrence of critical episodes casts doubt on the adequacy of the people, institutions and practices that are supposed to either prevent such destructive impacts from happening or mitigate the impact if they do hit.

We define ‘crises’ as episodic breakdowns of familiar symbolic frameworks that legitimate the pre-existing sociopolitical order ('t Hart 1993).

Type
Chapter
Information
Governing after Crisis
The Politics of Investigation, Accountability and Learning
, pp. 3 - 30
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

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  • Governing after crisis
    • By Arjen Boin, Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management and Public Administration Institute and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Louisiana State University, Allan Mcconnell, Associate Professor (Public Policy) in the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Paul 't Hart, Professor of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, and Professor of Public Administration, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University
  • Edited by Arjen Boin, Louisiana State University, Allan McConnell, University of Sydney, Paul 't Hart, Australian National University, Canberra
  • Book: Governing after Crisis
  • Online publication: 04 June 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511756122.001
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Governing after crisis
    • By Arjen Boin, Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management and Public Administration Institute and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Louisiana State University, Allan Mcconnell, Associate Professor (Public Policy) in the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Paul 't Hart, Professor of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, and Professor of Public Administration, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University
  • Edited by Arjen Boin, Louisiana State University, Allan McConnell, University of Sydney, Paul 't Hart, Australian National University, Canberra
  • Book: Governing after Crisis
  • Online publication: 04 June 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511756122.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Governing after crisis
    • By Arjen Boin, Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management and Public Administration Institute and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Louisiana State University, Allan Mcconnell, Associate Professor (Public Policy) in the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Paul 't Hart, Professor of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, and Professor of Public Administration, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University
  • Edited by Arjen Boin, Louisiana State University, Allan McConnell, University of Sydney, Paul 't Hart, Australian National University, Canberra
  • Book: Governing after Crisis
  • Online publication: 04 June 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511756122.001
Available formats
×