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Organizing for Societal Security and Crisis Management: Building Governance Capacity and Legitimacy

The project studies governance capacity and governance legitimacy for societal security and crisis management. The overall research question is: What makes a well performing governmental crisis management system? A well performing administrative structure needs both organizational capacity and legitimacy. We therefore examine the organization and coordination of government apparatuses; and the public perceptions and attitudes toward societal security, safety and resilience. The trade-off between the capacity for resilience and emergency preparedness, and between societal security and individual rights is central.

The project aims to unpack the field of societal security and crisis management into different types of management situations and crises. There are significant variations across types of crises, for example between natural disasters and terrorism. What is considered good capacity and performance may vary. We explore why some cases are considered successful, while others are not, across different countries and cases.

The project engages two interrelated research modules. Module 1 analyzes governance capacity, looking at the structure and performance of government authorities and instruments within the field. A main assumption is that organization and use of different governance tools will affect performance. Module 2 considers governance legitimacy. It analyzes trust in government arrangements for crisis management and societal security, and public assessment of the governments’ performance. Also general trust among citizens and mutual trust relations related to societal security, safety and crisis management is examined.

Being based on collaboration within a international academic research network the project has a strong focus on internationalization and a comparative design, and includes data from six European countries: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.

More about the project (pdf).

Project period: 2014-2018

Project funding: The Norwegian Research Council SAMRISK II

Project leader: Professor Per Lægreid

Project manager: Lise Hellebø Rykkja

Dag Arne ChristensenJacob Aars and Tom Christensen

International partners: Arjen Boin, Fredrik Bynander, Werner Jann, Martin Lodge, and Martin Marcussen.

Affilliated PhD students: