Department of Government

Renå with chapter in book on the blind spots of public bureaucracy

Helge Renå have contributed to the book "The Blind Spots of Public Bureaucracy and the Politics of Non-Coordination (Palgrave Macmillan) edited by Tobias Bach and Kai Wegrich.

Helge Renå
Foto: UiB

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The basic argument is that the alarm system—and more broadly, swift crisis coordination on a national level in the police de facto—was a blind spot until 22/7. The police did not see the importance of a well-functioning alarm system because i) crisis coordination in the police was traditionally a one-to-one interaction at the local level, ii) there was no disruptive incident that put swift crisis coordination on the political agenda, and iii) the political steering of the police was characterized by detailed and biased performance management—biased towards other issues than crisis preparedness. In this context, the decision to have an email-based alarm system was a result of locally rational behaviours. 

The implementation of the alarm system failed due to a passive enactment of a novel and unclear organizational routine in a highly institutionalized setting. In the aftermath of 22/7, the alarm system was subject to more comprehensive scrutiny, and a changed political context resulted in a political request for a new and more advanced alarm system.

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