After the Deluge: How to Update our Institutions for Creeping Crises


Looking back, looking forward


An International Conference


Grand Café de Burcht, Leiden, 27-29 October 2021


Why this conference?


The COVID-19 crisis came creeping and turned into a protracted crisis that is casting a long shadow. Both experts and policymakers failed to act in a timely and adequate manner. Slow recognition of an impending threat cost us dearly, not once but at least twice (the first and subsequent waves). The legitimacy of political leaders, public managers, public institutions and experts has greatly suffered.


It has happened before (think of the BSE crisis in the 1990s, the financial crisis or the immigration crisis in 2015). We might say it is happening in other domains, right now (examples include the rise of international crime, the undermining of public institutions, the erosion pf privacy, and climate change).


Why do political leaders, policymakers and public institutions fail to recognize clear signals of emerging threats? Why do they fail to act on clearly articulated warnings? Could it be that the existing practices of risk management and crisis management are not designed to deal with these creeping crises? What does that mean for our level of preparedness and the state of societal resilience?


This interdisciplinary conference seeks to address these questions.


If you would like to register, please contact Henry Shields [ ].