Pragmatism and Political Crisis Management
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Pragmatism and Political Crisis Management

Principle and Practical Rationality During the Financial Crisis

Christopher Ansell and Martin Bartenberger

Crisis management has become one of the core challenges facing governments, but successful crisis response depends on effective public leadership. Building on insights from Pragmatist philosophy, this deeply nuanced book provides guidance and direction for public leaders tackling the most challenging tasks of the 21st century.
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Chapter 8: Comparative reflections and new hypotheses

Christopher Ansell and Martin Bartenberger


The two previous chapters contrasted the Pragmatist and principle-guided crisis management models during several key decision-making and meaning-making episodes. The analysis found evidence for both models and identified shifts between them as well as hybrid forms that combined them both. This chapter paves the way for future empirical research by introducing and discussing two questions. First, what were the causes of the shift from a Pragmatist approach in the Bear Stearns case to a more principle-guided approach in the Lehman case, followed by the shift back to Pragmatism in the AIG decision? Second, how were elements of both Pragmatist and principle-guided political crisis management combined in the Lehman case? Without providing definitive answers to these questions, this chapter probes these cases for plausible responses.

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