Crisis management has become one of the core challenges facing governments, but successful crisis response depends on effective public leadership. Building on insights from Pragmatist philosophy, this deeply nuanced book provides guidance and direction for public leaders tackling the most challenging tasks of the twenty-first century.
This timely and insightful book demonstrates how Pragmatism enables leaders to strategically address the fog of uncertainty that characterizes crises. Illuminating the power of practical rationality in crisis situations, Christopher Ansell and Martin Bartenberger develop a model of Pragmatist political crisis management and contrast this with crisis decision making and meaning making guided by principle. Examining the interplay of practical rationality and principle during the US financial crisis of 2008, the authors develop empirical indicators to evaluate when and why crisis leaders may adopt Pragmatist or principle-guided strategies.
Flawlessly blending theory with practice, Ansell and Bartenberger offer key insights to those active in the crisis management community. Crisis management and public administration scholars will benefit from the detailed overview of Pragmatism and its applications to concrete issues of governance, while practitioners will profit from the book's insight into crisis leadership and decision making.
'This highly original and engaging book moves the dial for scholars of both crisis management and political science. Chris Ansell and Martin Bartenberger offer what strategic crisis managers so badly need: a political theory of crisis management. They draw on the Pragmatist tradition to formulate principles that help strategic crisis managers navigate periods of deep uncertainty. A notable achievement!'
– Arjen Boin, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Christopher Ansell, University of California, Berkeley, US and Martin Bartenberger, RATIS, Germany.