Arjen Boin

Arjen Boin
Leiden University | LEI · Institute of Political Science

PhD

About

201
Publications
238,830
Reads
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9,653
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - present
Leiden University
Position
  • Professor in Public Institutions and Governance
January 2010 - August 2014
Utrecht University
Position
  • Professor in Public Governance and Crisis Management
September 2007 - present
Louisiana State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (201)
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, crises have become increasingly transboundary in nature. This exploratory paper investigates whether and how the transboundary dimensions of crises such as pandemics, cyber attacks and prolonged critical infrastructure failure accentuate the challenges that public and private authorities confront in the face of urgent threats. We e...
Article
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In crisis situations, first responders are expected to act speedily, improvise, and do whatever is necessary to save lives and minimize damages: they should not wait for orders before they act. But while the benefits of quick crisis action may be self-evident, there is little consideration in theory or practice of the moral costs that come with dis...
Article
In virtually every assessment of responses to large-scale crises and disasters, coordination is identified as a critical failure factor. After the crisis, official committees and political opponents often characterize the early phases of the response as a ‘failure to coordinate.’ Not surprisingly, improved coordination quickly emerges as the prescr...
Article
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In a world marked by conflicting imperatives, tight interdependences, high complexity, fast change and deep uncertainty, firms and public agencies need to constantly adapt. They must continuously consider their priorities, strategies, structures and capabilities in order to remain relevant. But effective adaptation is hard to accomplish. Many innov...
Article
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The deeply rooted belief in the importance of public leadership is accompanied by quick and often shallow assessments of leadership performance. Such assessments never arrive more quickly than in the wake of crises and disasters-these episodes make for instant winners (Giuliani) and losers (Bush). These assessments are necessarily shallow, as the p...
Article
Background Hospitals are expected to provide their essential services under all circumstances, including disasters and crisis situations. However, crises and disasters may disrupt essential hospital functions, and necessitate evacuation of the facility. Data on the prevalence and causes of hospital evacuations is limited, whilst realistic evacuatio...
Article
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In this study, we examine how the two facets of the fear of terrorism—the affective and behavioural fears—shift over time. To this end, we use a unique longitudinal data set of a representative sample of 755 Dutch respondents, recruited from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences Panel in the time period between November 2017 an...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we examine how the two facets of the fear of terrorism—the affective and behavioural fears—shift over time. To this end, we use a unique longitudinal data set of a representative sample of 755 Dutch respondents, recruited from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences panel, in the time period between November 2017 an...
Article
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In dit artikel bespreken we de vereisten voor ambtelijk leiderschap in tijden van crisis.
Preprint
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Background Hospitals are expected to provide their essential services under all circumstances, including disasters and crisis situations. However, crises and disasters may disrupt essential hospital functions, and necessitate evacuation of the facility. Data on the prevalence and causes of hospital evacuations is limited, whilst realistic evacuatio...
Article
Introduction: Terrorists increasingly aim at so-called soft targets, such as hospitals. However, little is known about terrorist attacks against Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Objective: This study aims to review all documented terrorist attacks against EMS that occurred world-wide from 1970-2019 using the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). Me...
Article
Background: Analysts have warned on multiple occasions that hospitals are potential soft targets for terrorist attacks. Such attacks will have far-reaching consequences, including decreased accessibility, possible casualties, and fear among people. The extent, incidence, and characteristics of terrorist attacks against hospitals are unknown. There...
Article
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Crises are often viewed as catalysts for change. The coronavirus disease crisis is no exception. In many policy sectors, proponents of reform see this global crisis both as a justification and an enabler of necessary change. Policy scholars have paid ample attention to this crisis-reform thesis. Empirical research suggests that these proponents of...
Article
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Introduction Emergency departments (EDs) are reasonably well prepared for external disasters, such as natural disasters, mass casualty incidents, and terrorist attacks. However, crises and disasters that emerge and unfold within hospitals appear to be more common than external events. EDs are often affected. Internal hospital crises and disasters (...
Poster
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Methods: The GTD was used to search for all terrorist attacks against hospitals between 1970-2019. Analyses were performed on temporal factors, location, attack and weapon type and number of casualties or hostages. Chi-square tests were performed to evaluate trends over time and differences in attack types per world region. Background: Analysts hav...
Article
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The field of crisis and disaster studies has proliferated over the past two decades. Attention is bound to grow further as the world negotiates the prolonged challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this review, we provide an overview of the main foci, methods, and research designs employed in the crisis and disaster research fields in the period of...
Article
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Uncertainties run deep during a crisis. Yet, leaders will have to make critical decisions in the absence of information they would like to have. How do political leaders cope with this challenge? One way to deal with crisis-induced uncertainty is to base all decisions on a core principle or value. This is what we call a principled approach. The pra...
Chapter
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The notion of a creeping crisis is a conceptual one, a heuristic device useful for helping to uncover hidden dimensions of today’s more pressing—some might say existential—societal problems. In this introductory chapter, we present our definition of creeping crisis and unpack the analytical dimensions of the concept. We review what existing researc...
Chapter
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Natural earthquakes do not occur in the northern part of the Netherlands. Yet, small earthquakes have regularly struck the area since the 1980s. For a long time, it was denied that these earthquakes were caused by the extraction of gas in the area and that these earthquakes could cause any damage. When more, and more severe, earthquakes struck the...
Chapter
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This chapter returns to the research question that animated the case studies and summarizes the findings of the chapters in this book. It offers provisional answers to our research question and formulates an agenda for future research. Much of the chapter is devoted to thinking through the implications of the creeping crisis perspective for the pra...
Chapter
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On the last day of 2019, China alerted the World Health Organization to a cluster of mysterious pneumonia cases. A new coronavirus (Covid-19) was discovered. Within three months after the alert, Europe had become the epicenter of a global pandemic. Even though the virus spread easily and quickly within communities, it took its time to travel from C...
Chapter
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The COVID-19 crisis has tested public institutions, crisis leadership and societal solidarity to the core. Fault lines have come to the fore; unsuspected strengths have been noted. But will this be enough to initiate the necessary steps to prepare our societies for the future crises that will come? In this chapter, we offer the building blocks for...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews the main governance challenges policymakers faced during the COVID-19 crisis. It examines how governments mobilized institutional capacity to tackle these challenges. We focus on attempts to centralize crisis decision-making and discuss whether centralization contributed to government effectiveness and legitimacy.
Chapter
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COVID-19 brought the ‘unthinkable’ to our doorstep. The pandemic caused a series of global, and interconnected, health, economic, social, institutional and political crises that are unprecedented in living memory. Political leaders struggled to contain the virus and persuade anxious, weary citizens to behave this or that way in order to overcome a...
Chapter
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Communication is pivotal when a society faces a sudden, disruptive and disturbing event. People want to know what is going on, why it is happening, what is done to safeguard them and what they can to protect themselves. During COVID-19, governments were the main sources of that information, at least initially. Governments tried to shape the attitud...
Chapter
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For a crisis to be effectively governed, it must first be noticed, interpreted, understood and assessed. This chapter explores how policymakers ‘made sense’ of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on: (1) how policymakers around the world detected the developing threat as it emerged first in China and then in Italy; (2) the prominent involvemen...
Chapter
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How will societies emerge from the COVID-19 crisis? Will there be a reckoning with failing institutions and crisis leaders? Will valuable lessons be learned? These are the perennial questions that dominate the transitional phase between crisis and a new normal. In this chapter, we discuss how lessons from previous crises help to understand the many...
Article
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In a crisis, the temptation for political leaders to 'go big and do it fast' can be overwhelming. Societal pressure to act decisively can lead to crisis measures that in hindsight may well be considered overwrought and impulsive. The so-called pragmatist approach to crisis management offers an attractive alternative to the 'big decision' approach t...
Article
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Background: Internal hospital crises and disasters (IHCDs) are events that disrupt the routine functioning of a hospital while threatening the well-being of patients and staff. IHCDs may cause hospital closure, evacuations of patients and loss of healthcare capacity. The consequences may be ruinous for local communities. Although IHCDs occur with...
Chapter
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It’s an institution —a phrase we have all come across or may have used. We intuitively understand what it means. There is something special, perhaps mythical, about them. We value these institutions. We may even find it hard to imagine a life without some of these institutions. In this chapter, we offer a definition of institutions and introduce ou...
Chapter
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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) was founded in 1952. At that time, few observers would have predicted a future of a powerful institution, shaping Europe’s faith through its rulings. But that is exactly what happened. After a slow start, the ECJ gradually evolved into one of the most important institutions of the European Union. This chapter des...
Book
This open access book explores a special species of trouble afflicting modern societies: creeping crises. These crises evolve over time, reveal themselves in different ways, and resist comprehensive responses despite periodic public attention. As a result, these crises continue to creep in front of our eyes. This book begins by defining the concept...
Book
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This open access book offers unique insights into how governments and governing systems, particularly in advanced economies, have responded to the immense challenges of managing the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing disease COVID-19. Written by three eminent scholars in the field of the politics and policy of crisis management, it offers a uniqu...
Book
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This open access book presents case studies of twelve organisations which the public have come to view as institutions. From the BBC to Doctors Without Borders, from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra to CERN, this volume examines how some organisations rise to prominence and remain in high public esteem through changing and challenging times. I...
Article
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Governments everywhere faced daunting and often unprecedented challenges in the face of the first peak of the COVD-19 pandemic. Public leaders sought to regain control over a highly uncertain and dynamic threat, formulating strategies that were implemented at considerable economic, societal and political costs. Normal modes of policymaking had to b...
Article
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en Several Canadian and international scholars offer commentaries on the implications of the COVID‐19 pandemic for governments and public service institutions, and fruitful directions for public administration research and practice. This first suite of commentaries focuses on the executive branch, variously considering: the challenge for government...
Book
This book analyzes the Dutch national response to the COVID-19 crisis. It focuses on the period between January - May 2020. Topics: Early detection, The role of experts, Critical decision-making, Coordination, Crisis Communication, and Lessons learned. More information on www.crisisplan.nl
Preprint
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Study Objective Internal hospital crises and disasters (IHCDs) occur with regularity and require the attention of emergency managers, hospital administrators, and physicians to prepare their hospitals accordingly. Information on the frequency and types of IHCDs is limited and we aim to characterise the disasters that occurred in Dutch hospitals fro...
Article
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en The COVID‐19 crisis is a stark reminder that modern society is vulnerable to a special species of trouble: the creeping crisis. The creeping crisis poses a deep challenge to both academics and practitioners. In the crisis literature, it remains ill‐defined and understudied. It is even harder to manage. As a threat, it carries a potential for soc...
Technical Report
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This report (written in Dutch) explores how a modern society should prepare for the "unknown unknowns". It suggests that three types of resilience are needed: societal, institutional, and executive resilience.
Article
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The nation state is discovering the limits of its crisis management capacities. The Ebola and Zika outbreaks, the financial crisis, the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, sinking ships overfilled with refugees, cyber-attacks, urban terrorism and existential environmental threats serve as strong reminders of the complex origins and transboundary d...
Book
Strategisch crisismanagement wordt steeds belangrijker. Bestuurders en managers moeten tijdens een crisis kritieke besluiten nemen, helder communiceren en afstemmen met ketenpartners. Zij moeten goed worden ondersteund met informatie, advies en regie. Zonder effectieve ondersteuning krijgen crisisleiders het moeilijk. Dit Handboek voor Strategisch...
Research
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Het rapport "Vliegvuur op Scheveningen" van de Onderzoeksraad voor de Veiligheid trekt harde conclusies over het functioneren van Haagse burgemeester en ambtenaren. Maar kloppen de bevindingen wel? Een kritische beschouwing,
Preprint
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The response to Hurricane Katrina (2005) has been widely described as a disaster in itself. Politicians, media, academics, survivors and the public at large have slammed the federal, state and local response to this mega-disaster. If we are to believe the critics, the response was late, ineffective, politically charged, and even influenced by racis...
Article
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Modern societies are increasingly faced with “unknown unknowns,” Black Swans, and mega-crises. Both public and corporate leaders find it deeply challenging to respond to these crisis events. Existing approaches and tools to cope with crisis-induced uncertainty are of little help in these dynamic environments. This article explores how the principle...
Article
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Policymakers are often surprised by the sudden emergence of a crisis. In hindsight, it is then discovered that signals of the impending crises had been long present. They could have seen it coming, or so the idea goes. Where and how do these creeping crises develop? Can they be detected? We think it has something to do with the domain in which they...
Book
Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in US history. The assessments have been harsh: Katrina has become a byword for failure. The president failed, the federal government failed (FEMA/DHS), the state of Louisiana failed, the city administration of New Orleans failed. Or so the assessments tell us. But these assessments somehow missed (or...
Article
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Modern societies rely on complex technological systems that are deeply intertwined with other complex systems that stretch across geographical, judicial and administrative borders. When threats emanate from this transboundary space, national governments are often surprised and discover that existing crisis management arrangements do not suffice. Th...
Chapter
In this chapter, we briefly describe the most important administrative structures of the crisis management systems of the countries under study.
Chapter
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On 5 January 2011, a fire broke out at a Dutch chemical company. A large cloud of toxic smoke drifted over two densely populated provinces. The incident was handled well at the operational level. First responders and emergency services did their job as they were trained to do. There was limited damage and there were no casualties. Yet, the incident...
Chapter
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Not so long ago, the Netherlands was a country where politics were dull and predictable. This all changed after Pim Fortuyn, a candidate for the LPF party, was assassinated on May 6, 2002 while campaigning for the upcoming national elections. This chapter aims to explore how failed crisis management can undermine the legitimacy of a political class...
Book
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Het kan de meest succesvolle organisaties overkomen. Een incident, een filmpje dat viral gaat op het internet. Vette krantenkoppen, jagende journalisten, verontwaardigde politici en boze burgers. De mediastorm verrast organisatieleiders. Hun verweer (“we moeten eerst het onderzoek afwachten”) maakt weinig indruk, of leidt tot hoongelach op sociale...
Article
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Why do some public organizations survive for many decades, whereas others are terminated within a few years? This question of organizational survival has long intrigued public administration scholars. To explain longevity, public administration research has focused on organizational design features and adaptive capacities. The results have been inc...
Technical Report
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This report presents an overview of our research findings for a project on studying available capacities to deal with transboundary crises. We sketch challenges, survey international capacities, and discuss methods that can enable policymakers to differentiate between capacities.
Article
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This paper contains recommendations to enhance the EU's capacity to initiate an effective and legitimate response to transboundary crises. The paper is produced in the context of the TransCrisis Project (funded by Horizon 2020).
Presentation
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Here we present a new approach to survey the organizational capacities to manage transboundary crises. This is part of the TRANSCRISIS research project (Horizon 2020). The actual deliverable can also be found here.
Article
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Een hardnekkig probleem in de crisisbeheersing is de diepe kloof tussen het strategische en operationele niveau. Wij analyseren het probleem en suggereren een oplossingsrichting.
Chapter
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This chapter describes the complexities of crisis situations, showing how deep uncertainty, threat and urgency pose distinctly challenging impediments to public management. It then pivots to catalogue tools that have been developed in Europe to manage crises. Particular attention is given to the development of administrative capacities applicable t...
Chapter
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Disaster researchers do not make much use of the term “crisis” and when they do, it is often used as a synonym for “disaster”. We argue that the use of these terms implies differences in analytical perspective. In this chapter, we outline the crisis approach and explain how it is different from a disaster approach. The crisis approach is fundamenta...
Presentation
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Mijn oratie gaat in op de complexe uitdagingen die grenzeloze crises (”transboundary crises”) met zich meebrengen. Kernpunt: ons crisisstelsel is niet klaar voor dit soort crises.
Article
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In deze bespreking van "Politiechefs", een nieuwe studie van Piet van Reenen, analyseer ik het eroderend leiderschap van de Nederlandse politiechefs.
Article
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Epidemiological research has documented the serious health issues that can affect the victims of disasters and major crises. Yet, the psychosocial dimension of crisis has received little attention in crisis management literature. This paper integrates psychosocial principles with a model of strategic crisis management. The resulting model of psycho...
Article
Global risks are now increasingly being perceived as networked, and likely to result in large-scale, propagating failures and crises that transgress national boundaries and societal sectors. These so called “globally networked risks” pose fundamental challenges to global governance institutions. A growing literature explores the nature of these glo...
Book
Crisis management has become a defining feature of contemporary governance. In times of crisis, communities and members of organizations expect their leaders to minimize the impact, while critics and bureaucratic competitors make use of social media to blame incumbent rulers and their policies. In this extreme environment, policymakers must somehow...
Article
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Public administration scholars tend to take for granted that organizational adaptation is important. This common notion that public organizations must adapt to stay alive has not been put to the test in the field of public administration, however. Intriguingly, organization ecologists find that adaptation does not matter and might even be counterpr...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents an innovative IT solution, a virtual studio, enabling security professionals to formulate, test and adjust security measures to enhance the security of critical buildings. The concept is to virtualize the environment, enabling experts to examine and assess and improve on a building’s security in a cost-effective and risk-free wa...
Research
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The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, in combination with the ongoing refugee crisis, demonstrate to many the risks of increased integration and open borders. In response, the borders are closing and the walls are coming up. We argue that this is the wrong response. The EU member states must protect integration by building transbounda...
Article
Public management is a domain of research that is now roughly three decades old. Researchers in this area have made important advances in understanding about the performance of public organizations. But questions have been raised about the scope and methods of public management research (PMR). Does it neglect important questions about the developme...
Chapter
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In this brief foreword, we reflect on the challenges of learning from crisis
Article
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Organizational scholars have shown a growing interest in drawing on the philosophy of Pragmatism to address contemporary problems and theoretical questions. We elucidate Pragmatism’s core ideas and show their uniqueness and relevance to the field. We present Pragmatism as a problem-solving philosophy that builds on a rich and behaviorally plausible...
Chapter
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The environment of most organizations is beset by continuous change, instability, flux, and unpredictability. If organizations are to survive and prosper under such conditions, they must be capable of dynamic adaption and stable and reliable performance. Organization theory recognizes the importance of both imperatives, but typically assumes that t...
Article
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A series of transboundary crises and disasters has increased pressure on European states to cooperate in the realm of crisis and disaster management. The European Union has taken an active role to connect national capacities of member states. Little is known, however, about the compatibilities of national civil protection systems. This article atte...
Chapter
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In recent years, nation-states have encountered a rapidly changing environment marked by the onset of various threats. These threats range from terrorism to epidemics, from shifting international relations to the breakdown of the financial system, from climate change to cyber attacks. We live in a world where ‘black swans’ and ‘mega crises’ can str...