P32 Respond, change or transform? – Public administration and crises

Corresponding chair and review group chair

David Špaček, Associate Professor, Masaryk University, Brno. david.spacek@econ.muni.cz


Jens Weiss, Professor, Hochschule Harz, Germany.


In a highly globalized world, migration, military crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have clearly shown the necessity not only for effective crisis management, but also for resilience building, building of capabilities to deal with critical incidents and catastrophic events as well as learning in public administration.

The aim of this panel is to gather theoretically based empirical research analysing how public administrations dealt with recent crises. Contributions should especially deal with patterns describing and explaining short term response to crises, mid-term change and long-term transformation.

Contributions may focus on all kinds of crises, e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, migration crises or military conflicts all over the world. Research may address the following questions:

  1. Which patterns of responses, changes and transformation of public administration due to crises can be identified? Where (in what organizational elements/aspects) and why?
  2. What mid- and long-term consequences of these changes/transformations can be identified (perpetuation, fall back, institutional erosion, bouncing forward etc.)?
  3. How have these changes or transformations stabilized or destabilized public administration?

What is the sustainability/longevity/durability of changes and what determines it?


We invite both theoretical, review and empirical papers that deal with the questions outlined in the panel description. Paper abstracts should include a short description of the topic, the research question(s) and method, and an indication of the research findings. The panel is open to all qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches as well as theory-focused papers or systematic literature reviews. In the case of the literature reviews, we would like to ask authors not only to summarize the literature, but also move forward, i.e., to use a synthesis for theory building, putting forward points for practitioners etc.

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