Political Science - Crisis Management and International Cooperation

The SEDU research in political science with a focus on crisis management and international cooperation focuses on central aspects of crisis management such as policy-making, decision-making, leadership, capacity building, actorness, communication, learning and accountability. It also includes the study of cooperation within international and regional organizations and the European Union in the field of crisis and disaster management and resilience.

Crisis and organisations

This research deals with how governments, agencies and other public entities organise and make decisions in times of crisis. Detailed case studies of crisis management are used to find patterns, build frameworks, and suggest typologies about how public organisations plan and prepare for crises, how they make sense of, and reorganise in the face of crises, and to what extent they learn from their crisis experiences.

European crisis management

One strand of research specialises in the foreign and security policy of the European Union, with a special focus on crisis management. This includes studies on the value of experimentalist governance as a way to understand how governments should build capacity to manage transboundary crises. Researchers are currently using practice theory to explain the driving forces behind EU foreign policies and the transformation of the European security community. Recent projects include a study of EU crisis cooperation practices and the way they foster a new type of security community based on mutual assistance in major European crises.

Crisis and the policy process

Crises disrupt the everyday policymaking. Sometimes problems build up gradually to crisis proportions, and sometimes they hit like a bolt from the blue, but when they are grave enough, they attract much attention from policymakers. It is however far from certain that solutions match problems in an objective sense. This strand of research takes an interest in the making and remaking of crisis related policies and in the policy oriented learning from crisis experiences. Why do some crises and disasters give rise to a feverish urge to do things differently and better, and others not? Why are some problems allowed to grow really bad before they attract policymaking attention at all?

Communication in times of crisis, terrorism and conflict

This line of research adopts a broad, theoretical and empirical, understanding of communication. Empirically we cover a range of issues such as political and economic crisis, terrorism, disasters and emergencies as well as war and conflicts. Both communication practices as well as mediated communication are of interest.

International organisations as crisis managers

Due to the ongoing globalisation and regionalisation, international organisations (IOs) play an increasing role in managing various crisis events within a number of policy sectors, as for example in connection to humanitarian, financial, health and environmental crises. Within this strand of research we explore the potential for IOs’ strategic and operational influence in relation to its member states, and the strategies they apply to increase such influence.

International disaster studies

"There is no such thing as a natural disaster!" This a hallmark phrase of disaster studies, which is concerned with the relationship between naturally occurring hazards – such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes – and social vulnerability. How persons, communities, businesses and governments manage these risks and cope with disasters within, outside and across a state’s territorial boundary represents an important field of study and expertise at the Swedish Defence University. The perspective builds on a merger of International Relations (IR) with disaster studies.

Disaster resilience

How much responsibility should people assume for their own safety and wellbeing in a functioning democracy? How can people adjust their risk behaviour and how can states create risk solutions against the effects of global warming? What effect do neoliberal polices have on the states’ ability to protect its citizens when disasters strike? These and other related questions frame a rapidly growing field of scholarship concerned with the capacity of a person or an organisation to adapt to or bounce back from a disaster. This multidisciplinary field of study is called disaster resilience.


Researchers in Political Science Crisis Management and International Cooperation.


Associate Professors and Senior Lecturer

Associate Senior Lectuer and Lecturer