Citizens and Contingencies – Swedish Crisis Managers’ Views of The Public

November 2015 (VOL. 33, NO. 3)

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Assumptions about citizens and their behaviour in a crisis situation strongly influence emergency planning and decision-making. This article therefore aims to explore municipal crisis managers’ views of citizens in relation to contingencies. We identified two dimensions in the municipal leaders’ views of the general public, illustrating how these views can be characterized by two separate stages. They embrace individual prerequisites for preparing for and dealing with contingencies, as well as characteristics of the current crisis and its effects on the citizens. The article highlights public leaders’ awareness of social vulnerability factors and demonstrates a more complex image of crisis managers’ views of the general public than has generally been depicted.