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

What makes a well performing governmental system for societal security and crisis management? What is the relation between government capacity, performance, and public perceptions? Similar to a well performing administrative structure, both organizational capacity and legitimacy is needed. GOVCAP studies government arrangements for crisis management, and examines public perceptions and attitudes toward societal security, safety and resilience. Trust in central institutions as well as the trade-off between security and individual rights is central.There are significant differences between different types of crises such as natural disasters and terrorism. What is considered adequate capacity and performance may vary with different contexts.

GOVCAP presents case studies of specific types of crisis in five European countries, taking the broader institutional setting of national administrative systems into account. GOVCAP consists of two interrelated research modules. Module 1 examines how governance capacity affects crisis management performance. It maps existing and emerging organizational arrangements within the public sector to handle crises and societal security in five countries, related to intentional human action such as terrorism, as well as natural disasters. Module 2 considers governance legitimacy, representativity and norms. It identifies factors that may account for variation in citizens? beliefs in government capacity for societal security and crisis management; analyses how risk assessments a nd crisis experience may affect legitimacy; and examines citizen's trust in government arrangements for crisis management and performance in the same countries.

The research is based on collaboration within a strong international academic research network within public administration, public policy and crisis management, and includes collaboration with and data from five European countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom.