Political Organization and Multi Level Governance
New publication

Establishing a National Police Emergency Response Center: How Urgency Led to Delay

New article describes and analyzes the decision‐making process related to the establishment of Norway's National Police Emergency Response Center (NPERC). Authors' are Per Lægreid (UIB), Lise H. Rykkja (UIB) and Tom Christensen (UIO)

emergency centre

Main content

Following the July 22, 2011 terrorist attacks, Norway's Inquiry Commission recommended the establishment of a NPERC at one physical site. The goal was to enhance governance capacity and contribute to crisis mitigation, prevention, preparedness, and operational crisis management. Although the main actors claimed that such a center was urgently needed, it took several years for the government to reach a final decision. The main puzzle is, why did it take so long?

To answer this question, we use a structural‐instrumental perspective and a garbage‐can approach, while also focusing on the issues of shifting attention and agenda‐setting. We conclude that the decision‐making process was marked by a lack of rational calculation but also influenced by external shocks, focusing events, and windows of opportunities. This led to changing expectations, shifts in attention and opportunities for new agenda‐setting. Hence, the choices made throughout the decision‐making process can be seen as the linkage of a specific policy stream, a political stream, and a problem stream. Our main conclusion is that the sense of urgency created by the terrorist attacks led to a delay in the decision‐making proces.

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