Department of Administration and Organization Theory

The challenges of coordination in national security management – the case of the terrorist attack in Norway

Tom Christensen, Per Lægreid and Lise H. Rykkja have published an article in International Review of Administrative Sciences.


The article addresses a ‘wicked problem’: Organizing for internal security and societal safety. It examines the central emergency and crisis management under the terrorist attack in Norway in July 2011, with a special focus on the coordinating role of the Ministry of Justice (MJ). Our analysis is based on an in-depth qualitative analysis of relevant official documents and interviews with government officials, using a structural-instrumental and a cultural-institutional perspective to understand outcomes. There is a consensus when it comes to diagnosing the problems, identified as fragmentation, pulverization of accountability and weak coordination arrangements. The organizational changes have been cautious and incremental, however. A gradual upgrading of the MJ as an overarching coordinating ministry does not challenge the existing principles of ministerial responsibility. Suggested solutions are beset with ambiguity and conflicts, and there is a mismatch between problems and available solutions.


You can read the full article here.


The article is part of the COCOPS project.