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Negotiated Agreement(s) as a Means of local-level Crisis Management : An indicative case study on the functions of a voluntary crisis management agreement at the municipality of Gronau (Westf.), Germany

Heimbach, Lennart (2019) Negotiated Agreement(s) as a Means of local-level Crisis Management : An indicative case study on the functions of a voluntary crisis management agreement at the municipality of Gronau (Westf.), Germany.

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Abstract:As crisis management (CM) faces increasingly severe consequences of unsustainable human behaviour, our thesis alleges structural interrelations between the two fields of modern environmental and disaster governance. With negotiated agreements proving especially fruitful in sustainability management, we employ a qualitative case study design to investigate the functioning of such a voluntary policy tool in a local CM context at the municipality of Gronau, Germany. Along our line of inquiry, a compelling picture of fundamental similarities and differences between the two fields frames in our mind, which offer opportunities but pose central challenges to future disaster governance efforts at the same time. Transferring Bresser's (1999) widely proven policy implementation framework called 'Contextual Interaction Theory' (CIT) to the situation at our hands we provide meaningful qualitative results, which (we believe) could lay the foundations for future comparative disaster governance research. With CIT proving highly useful in explaining the agreements implementation environment, we provide a first-of-its-kind institutional analysis of German local decision-making contexts in CM, put forward a streamlined theoretical framework for measuring policy effectiveness in disaster governance settings and lay the foundation for the future transfer of knowledge between the two fields, with the CIT framework offering intriguing points of departure. Applying Ostrom's IAD model as well as qualitative network analysis, our results point to improvements in overall information management, mutual understanding and the use of shared terminologies as the agreement's most strongly anticipated contributions of crises preparation efforts in a coherent but modestly flexible network of limited ambition lead by traditionally institutionalised core actors. Their positive expectations with respect to other relational aspects such as social capital and organisational learning, moreover, point to the initiation of an underlying process to tackle concerns over legitimacy and transparency moving towards a more inclusive governance process.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/77782
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