Vertical and horizontal governance of crisis management – a study of two regional emergency management councils in Sweden
2010 (English)In: Crisis Management / [ed] Alvintzi, Patrick & Eder, Hannes, New York: Nova Science Publisher , 2010, 263-288 p.Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
In this article, we discuss Swedish crisis management from the perspective that public administration has evolved from a government steering structure to a governance structure. The power to govern crisis policy has been partly transferred from “government” to autonomous policy networks, which may include both public and private actors.
Geographic area responsibility is assigned to the Government at the national level, the county councils at the regional level and the municipalities at the local level. In addition to this distinctly hierarchical division of responsibility by coordination area and geographic area, the system strongly emphasises interaction between actors and coordination areas. Thus, the emergency management system includes elements of both government (or hierarchy) and governance (or networking).
The paper focuses on the interaction that has evolved among county administrative boards and municipalities in the networks, or regional emergency management councils, that have been established in several regions as a way for county administrative boards to fulfil their coordination responsibility. We will focus on two problem areas related to interaction in the councils: Which issues and actors are included or excluded in these networks? To what extent are councils characterised by negotiations and agreements among network actors and to what extent are council actors and issues characterised by hierarchical structures?
We have chosen to more closely examine two regional emergency management councils and have made use of printed materials and conducted in-depth interviews.
We can conclude that the relationship between the county administrative boards and the municipalities has elements of both hierarchical and network governance. Who is included in the councils seems to depend on a combination of hierarchy, by reason of an actor’s formal role or position, which more or less mandates interaction with the county administrative board, and tradition, as it becomes clear that the emergencies that have affected the county in recent years, such as the severe winter storms Gudrun and Per, have resulted in the energy system being amply represented in both councils while other system representatives have been more poorly represented.
Small municipalities have greater need for the County Administrative Board’s support and resources than the larger ones, but are not considered able to contribute as much to the regional network and are excluded for that reason. The importance to municipalities of having their own network representatives is most clearly apparent in the statements of actors who lack representation. They lack knowledge and information about what is occurring in the councils.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Nova Science Publisher , 2010. 263-288 p.
Emergency management, risk, crisis, Sweden, municipality, region, county administrative board, governance, network
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56444ISBN: 978-1-60876-570-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-56444DiVA: diva2:319240