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European states and international organizations have established multiple policies and mechanisms to deal with various risks, crises and disasters. This edited volume examines the emerging multi-level policy space of European civil security governance, identifying patterns and reviewing the opportunities and obstacles for cooperation.



Introduction: European Civil Security Governance — Towards a New Comprehensive Policy Space?

1. Introduction: European Civil Security Governance — Towards a New Comprehensive Policy Space?

The post-Cold War period has witnessed a transformation from military-focused civil defence towards broader concepts of ‘all-hazards’ crisis and disaster management.1 Civilian crises and disasters, it seems, are ubiquitous and ‘normal’ (Perrow, 1984, 2007), while the threat of major interstate war has receded from the top of the agenda of security planners and crisis managers — at least in Western Europe and before the recent confrontations in Ukraine. Thus, security challenges like large-scale industrial accidents, infrastructure failures, major terrorist attacks or global pandemics have risen to prominence in the work of security policymakers and practitioners and become merged with longstanding concerns about ‘natural’ disasters such as floods and storms. The paradigmatic shorthand for these developments is the emergence of the ‘(world) risk society’ (Beck, 1992, 1999), whereby advanced societies are confronted with a multitude of increasingly complex, transnational and incalculable risks resulting from the unintended side-effects of globalization and high-tech capitalism. There is no shortage of recent examples supporting this thesis, ranging from the terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid or London and the Fukushima nuclear disaster to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami or the Ebola virus pandemic in Western Africa.
Raphael Bossong, Hendrik Hegemann

The Challenge of Diversity


2. Cooperation under Diversity? Exploring Cultural and Institutional Diversity in European Civil Security Governance

The recent increase in EU activities for crisis and disaster management has led to the emergence of a hybrid EU policy space for civil security governance (see Bossong and Hegemann in the introduction). As demonstrated in other contributions to this volume, the EU has created a growing number of institutions, policies and best practices to protect its citizens from various risks. This emerging field has been cast as an ambivalent mix of policies and institutions trying to reconcile the imperative for transnational cooperation and solidarity in the face of increasingly complex transboundary crises with the need to respect national desires for sovereignty and subsidiarity (Ekengren et al., 2006; Boin et al., 2013b; Kirchner et al., 2014).
Raphael Bossong, Hendrik Hegemann

3. Civil Security Governance Systems in the New EU Member States: Closer to ‘Old Europe’ or a Distinctive Path?

Natural and man-made risks cause substantial and growing losses in Europe and the world (Howell, 2013; Smith, 2013), which poses challenges for national civil security governance systems (CSGSs), understood here as the organizations and processes engaged in the prevention of, preparedness for, mitigation of, response to and recovery from crises and disasters (see Bossong and Hegemann, in the introduction to this volume). Yet, even across European countries such systems have only fully emerged over the last three decades in a rather uneven manner (Quarantelli, 2000). In Western European countries, an important shift occurred in the last quarter of the 20th century when more attention was paid to the protection of civilians during peacetime, which we call civil security, rather than to military defence. In the New Member States of the EU and especially in Central European states, however, civil security started to gain importance in national policy-making and post-Communist transition only since the very late 1990s (Brazova et al., 2014).
Piotr Matczak, Vera-Karin Brazova, Višnja Samardžija, Iwona Pinskwar

4. Common Challenge — Different Response? The Case of H1N1 Influenza

Dealing with epidemics constitutes an undisputable part of civil security governance. Of all communicable diseases, the pandemic influenza is probably the most feared by both policymakers and health practitioners (Kamradt-Scott, 2012, p. 90). However, due to high levels of uncertainty which require contentious political choices it also challenges the most common view of disaster management, which typically focuses on technical and natural disasters in a narrow sense. Pandemics are a type of risk of a supranational and sometimes even of a global scale. In case of an emergency, coordinated action is needed in order to control the spread of the illness within and across borders. At the same time, actions are undertaken basically within the national jurisdictions. Thus, there is a tension between nationally focused efforts and coordinative demands.
Vera-Karin Brazova, Piotr Matczak

5. Regional Organizations and Disaster Risk Management: Europe’s Place in the Global Picture

Together with globalization, regionalization has been one of the most transformative processes in the international domain since the end of the Cold War. By now, almost all regions in the world have some sort of regional organization, in many cases there are even further sub-regional divisions of organizations that focus on more specific issues or even numbers of overlapping organizations. While regional integration almost everywhere initially started out as cooperation on political, economic or security issues, the activities of regional organizations have steadily expanded to a wide array of issues (Fawcett, 2004). One of these domains regional organizations have expanded into is cooperation on managing disasters caused by natural hazards,2 which particularly gathered speed in the late 1990s/early 2000s and has continued unabated ever since. There is a range of possible explanations for the expansion of regional cooperation into that particular area.
Daniel Petz

The Challenge of Transformation


6. Preventing Disasters in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities for Translating Global Visions into Local Practices

At the end of the 20th century, the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, noted in his annual report: ‘political and organizational cultures and practices remain orientated far more towards reaction than prevention’ (1999, p. 6). This, he insisted, had to be changed. There was a need for a ‘transition from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention’ (Annan, 1999, p. 7). This statement came at the end of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), a global framework agreement designed to increase awareness on the need to reduce risk from natural hazards.
Simon Hollis

7. Transformations in European Natural Hazard Management: There and Back Again

Today, technical natural hazard management represents the central mode of governance for coping with natural and man-made hazards in many parts of the world. In most European states, it is primarily organized through specialized agencies at the national or sub-national level, which analyse and assess risks to society, organize preventive and responsive measures and inform the public. In recent years, however, this mode of security governance has been increasingly challenged by new approaches to handling hazards that emphasize decentralized, self-organizing structures for flexible responses to challenges posed by complexity and unpredictability (see also Hollis in this volume). Resilience is an oft-used concept (and sometimes buzzword) arguably lying at the centre of this transformation in civil security that seems to cherry-pick elements of natural hazard management’s long and varied history. This transformation has been triggered by several obvious failures and shortcomings of technical natural hazard management, in particular to effectively prevent or mitigate major large-scale, cascading disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 (which resulted in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant meltdown).
Timothy Prior, Florian Roth, Michel Herzog

8. Systems for Post-Crisis Learning: A Systemic Gap in Civil Security Governance?

Increasing the capacity of governments to learn from harmful events, such as for instance pandemics, hurricanes, terrorist attacks or large-scale accidents, is of importance for civil security and organizational safety (Stern, 1997; Deverell, 2010). A frequently used strategy by governments and public organizations in this regard is to launch a crisis investigation after an event. This chapter deals with such forms of investigations and especially the importance of organizing structures for post hoc crisis investigations. The chapter argues that a lack of structured arrangements regarding post hoc crisis investigations will have negative effects on organizational and governmental lesson drawing from crises, and thus on long-term EU civil security. We depart from the premise that taking structured and deliberate steps after crisis events to restore legitimacy and to make sure that historic mistakes are not repeated is an important part of civil security governance (see Sulitzeanu-Kenan and Holzman-Gazit, 2013). At the same time, civil security governance can also be seen as a problem for learning. Civil security governance involves a wide variety of actors and confronts ambiguous policy problems and fuzzy boundaries. As such it tends to work against systemization and standardized organizational processes required for effective post hoc crisis investigations.
Edward Deverell

The Challenge of Cooperation and the Role of the EU


9. Exploring the EU’s Role as Transboundary Crisis Manager: The Facilitation of Sense-Making during the Ash Crisis

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 strike any time (Taleb, 2007; Helsloot et al., 2012). These new threats and impending crises bring to the fore a specific set of political and administrative challenges that are hard to address (OECD, 2003, 2011; Boin et al., 2005; Boin, 2009).
Sanneke Kuipers, Arjen Boin

10. The EU as a Regulator of Civil Security across Europe

The emergence of civil security governance as a transnational policy area in the European Union (EU) remains contested, and it is undisputed that the national governments of the member states still have a central role in protecting citizens and the environment against natural disasters and man-made threats (Monar, 2010; Boin et al., 2013). However, the EU and the member states define civil security broadly, bringing it under the remit of a large number of EU institutions. Accordingly, civil security remains a hybrid policy area drawing on both the Area of Freedom Security and Justice (AFSJ) and the field of Civil Protection (CP). Natural disasters (including infectious diseases) and transportation and industrial accidents have traditionally fallen under CP (Article 196 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) (Ekengren, 2008; Matzén, 2008; Boin et al., 2013). Terrorism (including critical infrastructure failures caused by cyber attacks) is in the domain of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA, Article 74 of TFEU) (Bossong, 2008; Argomaniz, 2009; Kaunert, 2010). EU civil security is also closely related to the Solidarity Clause in the Lisbon Treaty (Article 222 of TFEU) and the EU Internal Security Strategy (EU ISS), which aims at a comprehensive approach to EU internal security (Council of the European Union, 2010).
Han Dorussen, Evangelos Fanoulis, Emil Kirchner

11. What Can EU Civil Security Governance Learn from the Common Security and Defence Policy and the European Defence Agency?

The EU has since the beginning of the new millennium rapidly expanded its competences and increased the number of assistance interventions in the field of civil protection — a core area of civil security governance (Boin et al., 2013). As a way to strengthen the legal and institutional basis of this development, the EU established an Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) and adopted a new Union Civil Protection Mechanism and legal framework in 2013 (European Parliament and the Council, 2013). The objective is to support the member states when their capacities are overwhelmed by a crisis. The legal framework establishes a European Emergency Response Capacity (EERC) consisting of ‘a voluntary pool of pre-committed response capacities of the member states’ and prescribing when these are to be used:
[t]he Capacity shall be available for response operations … following a request for assistance through the ERCC. The ultimate decision on their deployment shall be taken by the Member States … When domestic emergencies, force majeure or, in exceptional cases, serious reasons prevent a Member State from making capacities available, this member state shall inform the Commission as soon as possible.
(European Parliament and the Council, 2013: paragraph 7)
Magnus Ekengren

12. Who Cares? The Relevance of EU Crisis Cooperation for EU Scholars

A curious development is underway in the process of European integration. The European Union, long accustomed to taking decisions that lead to slow, incremental steps towards common policies, is being asked to take urgent, decisive steps during extreme events. In contrast to the early years of the EU, today hardly a day passes without a news report of EU involvement in what might generically be called a ‘crisis’: a possible pandemic, a major cross-border flood, a cyber-attack, a looming energy shortage, a civil war, a chemical spill, a volcanic eruption, or, of late, a debt-driven financial breakdown. These are all very different kinds of events and the EU’s involvement varies. However, they conform to the generic definition of a crisis as an unexpected, acute disruption to normal societal functions that must be handled quickly and under conditions of uncertainty (Rosenthal et al., 1991). A crisis is intriguing — from a scholarly perspective — because it shines a spotlight on the governance capability of a political-administrative system. It reveals a system’s coordination capacity, leadership arrangements, power sharing potential, communication effectiveness, and degree of legitimacy in the eyes of citizens. The EU is increasingly being asked to tackle crises according to this definition on a fairly regular basis and is developing capacities to do so (Boin et al., 2013). Not only does this development offer an intriguing angle into which to view the EU’s civil security governance as highlighted by this book, but it also suggests a rich vein of research agendas and theoretical development opportunities for scholars.
Mark Rhinard

13. Conclusion: European Civil Security Governance between Consolidation and Contestation

This edited volume aimed to raise our empirical and conceptual awareness of European civil security governance and stimulate a sustained and critical engagement with this phenomenon from different analytical perspectives. For long, social science research on international politics and European integration had disregarded the prevention of, preparation for, response to and recovery from crises and disasters as a largely technical, epiphenomenal issue beyond the realm of ‘high politics’ that was largely left to officials and experts (see also Rhinard, in this volume). Particularly when moving beyond national levels of analysis, the study of the political drivers and consequences of this field was found to be ‘marginalised and largely invisible’ (Hannigan, 2012, p. 7) and political scientists proved to be ‘hardly interested’ (Attinà, 2012b, p. 21). This has begun to change; partially due to the experience of ‘new’ or ‘unconventional’ transboundary security challenges, such as during the Indian Ocean Tsunami or the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but also because international organizations have been equipped with new, more substantial competences and instruments. This is reflected by a growing literature on global and regional activities to enhance humanitarian assistance, reduce the risks of disasters and improve overall resilience in vulnerable societies (Attinà, 2012a; Hannigan, 2012; Hollis, 2015).
Raphael Bossong, Hendrik Hegemann


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