British crisis management and the dynamics of change : the case of the veterinary disease policy sector 2001-07

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The purpose of the thesis is to examine the nature, dynamics and extent of post-crisis change in British crisis management arrangements for veterinary disease induced outbreaks following the 2001 foot and mouth crisis. Two fundamental questions guide the analysis. First, is the process of post-crisis change incremental or does a crisis stimulate radical change? Second, are existing categorisations of the nature of post-crisis change appropriate for understanding change within the veterinary disease policy sector? These questions derive from a wide-ranging review of academic literatures concerned with the politics of crisis management, policy and organisational change, and Europeanisation. In examining the connections between these literatures the thesis identifies a gap in existing knowledge of how the reform of crisis management policies and organisation practices impacts upon specific policy sectors. The 2001 foot and mouth epidemic provides the baseline case study from which the processes of change are analysed. In order to examine the nature and type of change the outbreak of foot and mouth in September 2007 is used as a comparator case study, with the avian influenza outbreak in February 2007 used to broaden the analysis to allow observations to be made about the generic nature of the management of veterinary diseases in Great Britain. The major source of data for this study is semi-structured elite interviews. Major actors in the management of crisis, including UK and EU officials and significant elected representatives, provide deep insights into the nature and extent of organisational and policy change after the 2001 outbreak. The qualitative data derived from interviews is triangulated with official documentary sources and information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. In examining categorisations of post-crisis change the thesis concludes by calling for the deployment of perspectives from studies of both crisis management and policy and organisational change; and for existing categorisations to be refined to take into account the temporalities of change and the multi-dimensionality of change.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Judge, David, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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