Utrecht University: Governing the Pandemic. Navigating a Mega-Crisis (open access)

The corona crisis was the ultimate stress test for many governments. Never before have crisis protocols been tested on such a large scale, and for such a long time. What challenges did Western governments face during the corona crisis? And did crisis policy emerge unscathed? In Governing the Pandemic. The Politics of Navigating a Mega-Crisis external link, published this week (open access), Prof. Dr. Paul ‘t Hart (Utrecht University School of Governance), Prof. Dr. Arjen Boin external link(Leiden University) and Prof. Dr. Allan McConnell external link(University of Sidney) provide for the first time a unique bird’s eye view of the success and failure of crisis management by Western governments in times of corona.

Voorkant van het boek ‘Governing the Pandemic. Navigating a Mega Crisis’
In Governing the Pandemic, the authors explore the political challenges involved in dealing with a worst-case scenario. To explore this, the authors focused on four main questions, namely: How did governments and administrations envision this cross-border crisis and the many uncertainties they faced? How did they organize the crisis response? What stories did they try to tell about the course, the impact and the combating of the crisis, and to what extent did those stories ‘work’ to motivate citizens – who were at first mainly anxious, later increasingly irritable – to follow the coronas measures? And finally, how do the crisis leaders now work on an exit strategy, a return to a ‘new normal’ while at the same time there is plenty of loss, grief, stress and frustration in society?

This book is an attemp to take the discussion of the corona approach away from the realm of good/bad, and instead encourage reflection on what we can learn from this crisis.

Paul ‘t Hart ERC Grant
prof. dr. Paul ‘t Hart
Utrecht University School of Governance
Unique overview of governing in times of crisis
Learning to reflect on a crisis
Governing the Pandemic puts the reader on the balcony of the first 9 months of crisis management, providing a unique overview of a confused and anxious time. “The book is written for a broad audience,” ‘t Hart notes. “Moreover, the book is expressly also for use in teaching students and professionals. It attempts to take the discussion of the corona approach away a bit from the realm of good/bad, and instead encourage reflection on what we can learn from this crisis,” explains ‘t Hart. In addition to reflection, Governing the Pandemic also offers building blocks of paths to future resilience.

Security in Open Societies
More of this topic? Then check out the website of the Utrecht research hub Security in Open Societies. Here, researchers work together with social partners to find answers to current issues around crisis policy, security and resilience. Check out the animation below, which explains in a nutshell how Security in Open Societies works.