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 9: Conclusion: the practical rationality of crisis leadership

Christopher Ansell and Martin Bartenberger

Abstract

In this concluding chapter we briefly assess the outcomes of the study, reflect on its limitations and discuss elements of a possible future research agenda. The study identifies two different forms of political crisis management and sets out a broad set of building blocks and specifications that might serve as starting points for further research. While our systematic elaboration of the Pragmatist approach may provide a useful counterweight to the prevalent rationalism of crisis management advice, we also concede that a Pragmatist approach is particularly challenging for political crisis managers in the area of meaning making. Publicly admitting possible failures, emphasizing the uncertainty of decisions and inviting public debate and critique can be an extremely challenging task for political leaders. We conclude by reviewing a list of the empirical indicators for Pragmatist and principle-guided political crisis management identified in the course of the study. This list can be further refined, expanded and corrected in future research.

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