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Palgrave Macmillan

Understanding the Creeping Crisis

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  • Open Access
  • © 2021

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  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access
  • Defines the 'creeping crisis' as a species of threat to society
  • Provides evidence from a diverse set of case studies including cyber warfare, climate change, financial crises and public health emergencies
  • Offers insights for both academics and practitioners for the systematic study of creeping crises

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About this book

This open access book explores a special species of trouble afflicting modern societies: creeping crises. These crises evolve over time, reveal themselves in different ways, and resist comprehensive responses despite periodic public attention. As a result, these crises continue to creep in front of our eyes. This book begins by defining the concept of a creeping crisis, showing how existing literature fails to properly define and explore this phenomenon and outlining the challenges such crises pose to practitioners. Drawing on ongoing research, this book presents a diverse set of case studies on: antimicrobial resistance, climate change-induced migration, energy extraction, big data, Covid-19, migration, foreign fighters, and cyberattacks. Each chapter explores how creeping crises come into existence, why they can develop unimpeded, and the consequences they bring in terms of damage and legitimacy loss. The book provides a proof-of-concept to help launch the systematic study of creeping crises. Our analysis helps academics understand a new species of threat and practitioners recognize and prepare for creeping crises.

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Table of contents (10 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

    Arjen Boin

  • Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Swedish Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden

    Magnus Ekengren

  • Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden

    Mark Rhinard

About the editors

Arjen Boin is Professor of Public Institutions and Governance at the Department of Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is also a managing partner at Crisisplan BV.

Magnus Ekengren is Professor of Political Science at the Swedish Defence University, Sweden, and a former Swedish diplomat. His publications include Explaining the European Union's Foreign Policy: A Practice Theory of Translocal Action (2018).

Mark Rhinard is Professor of International Relations at Stockholm University and Senior Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden. He studies international cooperation on complex threats. His latest book is Nordic Societal Security, co-edited with Sebastian Larsson (2020).

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