Department of Government

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.

Main content


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.