Opportunity management of the COVID-19 pandemic: testing the crisis from a global perspective

Davide Galli, Sabine Kuhlmann, Geert Bouckaert, Renate Reiter, Steven Van Hecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article provides a conceptual framework for the analysis of COVID-19 crisis governance in the first half of 2020 from a cross-country comparative perspective. It focuses on the issue of opportunity management, that is, how the crisis was used by relevant actors of distinctly different administrative cultures as a window of opportunity. We started from an overall interest in the factors that have influenced the national politics of crisis management to answer the question of whether and how political and administrative actors in various countries have used the crisis as an opportunity to facilitate, accelerate or prevent changes in institutional settings. The objective is to study the institutional settings and governance structures, (alleged) solutions and remedies, and constellations of actors and preferences that have influenced the mode of crisis and opportunity management. Finally, the article summarizes some major comparative findings drawn from the country studies of this Special Issue, focusing on similarities and differences in crisis responses and patterns of opportunity management. Points for practitioners: With crises emerging in ever shorter sequences of time, governing turbulence and using crises for strategic institutional decisions has become an increasingly important issue for policymakers. Aiming at effective and proportionate responses, policymakers must take the institutional conditions, administrative traditions and relevant actor constellations of crisis management into account, which are key to learn from other countries’ experiences. Comparing these experiences and analyzing the politics of crisis governance from a cross-country perspective may help policymakers to identify strengths and weaknesses of their own national/regional approaches and to seize crisis-related windows of opportunity for institutional reforms at the national and international levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-517
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Volume87
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • administrative culture
  • comparison
  • crisis management
  • governance
  • opportunity management
  • pandemic
  • window of opportunity

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