Dissertations

Annika Brändström
Dissertation at Utrecht University in 2016

This thesis explores how political office-holders respond to incidents that are perceived as blameworthy and how crisis-induced accountability processes affect their political careers. Crises often trigger discussions on accountability and top political actors engage in a framing contest over defining the causes of the crisis and who or what should be held responsible. This is a staged and dynamic process in which key actors employ different strategies in several arenas for managing and ultimately assigning blame for the unwanted event. These processes are shaped in relation to issues regarding causality, agency, and responsibility.

Crisis, Accountability and Blame Management: Strategies and Survival of Political Office-Holders (PDF)

Eric Paglia
Dissertation at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in 2016 

The dissertation examines defining characteristics of the Anthropocene and how the concept impacts ideas and assumptions in historiography, social sciences and the environmental humanities, including the fields of environmental history, crisis management and security studies, political geography, and science and technology studies (STS). The study concludes that the international science community on Svalbard represents an Anthropocene node of global environmental change, Earth system science, emergent global governance, geopolitics, and stakeholder construction in an increasingly telecoupled world.

The Northward Course of the Anthropocene: Transformation, Temporality and Telecoupling in a Time of Environmental Crisis (PDF)

Christer Brown
Dissertation at Radboud University in 2015 

The dissertation examines the Federal Emergency Management Agency's, FEMA's, capacity to manage the foreseeable hurricane threat using an institutional perspective on preparedness. The study shows that complex systems of government create deep interdependencies that pose major challenges to multi-level interagency coordination in dealing with problems, even those that are foreseeable.

The 2005 Hurricane Katrina response failure: Seeing preparedness for foreseeable complex problems through a neo-institutional lens (PDF, 1,6 MB)

Susann Ullberg
Dissertation at Stockholm University in 2013 

This study analyses the memoryscape that mediates past experiences of disasters. The inquiry is based on ethnographic fieldwork (2004-2011) in Santa Fe, Argentina. The study examines how past flooding is remembered by flood victims in the middle- and low-income districts and by activists of the protest movement that emerged in the wake of the 2003 flood. The study addresses the relationship between memory, morality and social inequality and discusses the implications for questions regarding vulnerability, resilience and adaptation.

Watermarks: Urban Flooding and Memoryscape in Argentina (PDF)

Pär Daléus
Dissertation at Stockholm University 2012

The dissertation examines the characteristics and factors that have shaped the leadership style of four Swedish Prime Ministers.
An English summary is available on page 282.

Politisk ledarskapsstil - om interaktionen mellan personlighet och institutioner i utövandet av det svenska statsministerämbetet (PDF)

Edward Deverell
Dissertation at Utrecht University in 2010

This dissertation calls for practical models to help us understand what factors affect the crisis management (CM) and learning process in public organizations. Deverell brings together literature on CM, learning, public management and organization theory. He examines CM and learning processes during and after crises as an interconnected process by studying six cases of organizational CM. From the case studies he extracts a framework of CM and learning processes in public organizations.

Crisis-induced learning in public sector organizations (PDF, )

Eva-Karin Olsson
Dissertation at Stockholm University in 2008 

The study takes as its starting point that news organizations' actions during crises vary more than one can expect based on previous research on news work. Accordingly, the dissertation aims to move beyond the notion of news organizations as homogenous and attempts to open the 'black box' of news organizations' decision making. The study is based on interviews with members of three Swedish broadcasting organizations: the Swedish Public Television (SVT), the Swedish Public Radio (SR), and TV4.

Media Crisis Decision Making - A case study of SR (Swedish Radio), SVT (Swedish Television) and TV4 

Daniel Nohrstedt
Dissertation at Uppsala University in 2007

This dissertation consists of three interrelated essays examining the role of crisis events in Swedish nuclear energy policymaking. The study takes stock of the idea of 'crisis exceptionalism' raised in the literature, which postulates that crisis events provide openings for major policy change.

Crisis and Policy Reformcraft: Advocacy Coalitions and Crisis-induced Change in Swedish Nuclear Energy Policy (PDF, )

Dan Hansén
Disputation at Utrecht University 2007

This thesis delves into the policymaking effects of three Swedish crises: the 1972 Bulltofta skyjacking, the 1975 seizure of the West-German Stockholm Embassy and the 1986 murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme. The thesis argues that Swedish policy makers have been heavily influenced by cognitive biases when interpreting crises, which has had a moderating effect on policy change initiatives. Major policy changes or innovations have occurred, although these have been in keeping with dominant policy core beliefs, if such have prevailed. The changes however needed entrepreneurial exertion to come about. Government and administrative turnovers have had little impact on changing the constituencies for certain belief structures.

Crisis and Perspectives on Policy Change: Swedish Counter-terrorism Policymaking(PDF)

Fredrik Bynander
Dissertation at Uppsala University in 2003

In a time when threats inherent to the Cold War have been largely forgotten, and replaced with fears of terrorist attacks and epidemics, this book returns to the not so distant past in search for knowledge on how threats grow and decline in a societal context.

The Rise and Fall of the Submarine Threat: Threat Politics and Submarine Intrusions in Sweden 1980-2002

Eric Stern
Dissertation at Stockholm University in 1999

This dissertation probes the plausibility of integrating convergent elements of cognitive and neo-institutional theory to develop systematic research strategies suitable for use in dissecting, analyzing, and comparing historical cases of crisis decisionmaking. Particular emphasis is placed on the structure and dynamics of the small groups which figure prominently in crisis decisionmaking in a wide variety of cultures and institutional settings.

Crisis Decisionmaking: A Cognitive-Institutional Approach (PDF)