The Governance of Wicked Issues: A European Cross-Country Analysis of Coordination for Societal Security
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This paper analyzes structures and behavior instigated to achieve coordination within the area of societal security in six European countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. We distinguish between two modes of coordination: hierarchy and networks. A structural‐instrumental and a cultural organizational perspective are applied to explain the main approaches present in the different countries. The theoretical argument is assessed by examining data on formal organizational structures and survey‐data gathered among relevant top level administrative executives on coordination behavior and quality. The findings indicate the emergence of hybrid coordination structures combining both hierarchical and network features, thus lending support to a view of societal safety organizations as composite systems combining seemingly contradictory organizational principles developing through institutional layering. In terms of coordination behavior our findings reveal that reforms in the policy‐area have yielded only modest impacts, thus indicating a de‐coupling between policy and practice.