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  • 1.
    Brändström, Annika
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training). Utrecht University.
    Crisis, Accountability and Blame Management: Strategies and Survival of Political Office-Holders2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Crises are an integral part of our modern world; they are breaking points that disturb our sense of normalcy. While some of them are treated as ‘normal incidents’ that are bound to occur in a vast and complex array of governmental activities, others spark a blaze of media attention, public emotions, and political upheaval. 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. In an attempt to determine this, a series of case studies containing elements of high-pressure crisis-induced accountability were examined. Strategies employed by top political actors in coping with accountability and blame are identified and discussed. 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. In addition to the fact that crises can be managed on different ‘levels’ and arenas, we can also see that certain contextual and situational factors (such as personal experience and the constitutional framework of the cabinet) can constrain or enable how blame is managed and ultimately what the consequences will be for the careers of top political office-holders.

  • 2.
    Brändström, Annika
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).
    Crisis Accountability: Ministerial Resignations in Sweden2015In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 301-320Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Accountability processes after crisis events sometimes entail harsh criticism from public and political players alike, forcing cabinet ministers to be on top of the political game and sometimes even resign. However, harsh accountability processes are just as likely to leave ministers undamaged. This article combines two existing theories that propose different factors to account for variation in outcomes: ministerial resignations as a consequence of cabinet formation and individual positions; or resignations as a result of blame management strategies involving individual actors within the cabinet and beyond. Ten crisis episodes in Sweden are analysed and compared. The findings suggest that individual political power bases and experience matter to how well blame management strategies can be employed, while the composition of the government gives structural constraints. The dynamic interplay and framing battle between incumbent decision makers, and external arenas and the skill with which individual ministers engage and frame responsibility, play a key role in determining their post-crisis careers.

  • 3.
    Brändström, Annika
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).
    Bynander, Fredrik
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).
    t Hart, Paul
    Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht.
    Governing by looking back: historical analogies and crisis management2004In: Public Administration, ISSN 0033-3298, E-ISSN 1467-9299, Vol. 82, no 1, p. 191-210Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article offers a conceptual framework that broadens and enhances our understanding of the role of 'history' in contemporary governance and the attempts by policy-makers to 'manage' critical issues. Building upon the literature on historical analogies in policy-making, we distinguish three dimensions that clarify how the past may emerge in and affect the current deliberations, choices and rhetoric of policy-makers. We apply this in a comparative examination of two cases of crisis management where historical analogies played an important part: the Swedish response to (alleged) submarine intrusions in 1982, and the European Union sanctions against Austria in 1999. We induce from the case comparison new concepts and hypotheses for understanding the role of historical analogies in public policy-making and crisis management.

  • 4.
    Brändström, Annika
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).
    Swinkels, Marij
    Utrecht University.
    Crisis accountability and career management in the Netherlands2015In: Organizing after crisis: The challenge of learning / [ed] Nathalie Schiffino, Laurent Taskin, Céline Donis and Julien Raone, Berlin: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2015, 1, p. 131-158Chapter in book (Refereed)
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