Class 3: Crisis Management and Bureaucracy

Provided by Leonhard Dobusch, University of Innsbruck

Guiding questions: What are the advantages and disadvantages of bureaucratic organization and decision-making in the face of crisis? Why did certain policy makers act so fast/slowly?


Slides: PDF / PPT

Core readings

Meyer, M., & Simsa, R. (2018). Organizing the unexpected: How civil society organizations dealt with the refugee crisis. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 29(6), 1159-1175. PDF 

Stark, A. (2014). Bureaucratic values and resilience: An exploration of crisis management adaptation. Public Administration, 92(3), 692-706. PDF

Contemporary news article

Hadas, E. (2020). Good Bureaucracy is Ultimate Virus Slayer, Reuters, March 04, 2020
Monbiot, G. (2020). Prescription for Disaster, The Guardian, March 18, 2020

Post-lecture assignment

Find at least two examples for bureaucratic procedures in your home country during the response to Covid-19 and explain in not more than 400 words (one page) whether these have helped or hindered the country’s resilience vis-à-vis the pandemic.

Background readings

Howard-Grenville, J., Nelson, A. J., Earle, A. G., Haack, J. A., & Young, D. M. (2017). “If chemists don’t do it, who is going to?” Peer-driven occupational change and the emergence of green chemistry. Administrative Science Quarterly, 62(3), 524-560. PDF

Du Gay, P. (2005). The values of bureaucracy: An introduction. In: Du Gay (Ed.) The Values of Bureaucracy, Oxford University Press, 1-13. PDF