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Organizing after Crisis

The Challenge of Learning

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Edited By Nathalie Schiffino, Laurent Taskin, Céline Donis and Julien Raone

How do actors organize after crisis? Do they «simply» return to normal? The post-crisis phase is anything but a linear process. Actors and their practices may be transformed by learning from crises and by implementing the lessons.
In this volume, 19 contributors from 7 countries analyse how learning happens after crisis in a dynamic political environment where framings, strategies, discourses, interests and resources interact. Exploring various policy sectors, they ask whether and in what ways organizations in charge of crisis management perform well. Where political responsibility is located? What changes do lessons trigger at political, organizational and individual levels? The book answers these questions by addressing issues like blame and responsibility but also the influence of communication, social dynamics and the institutional environment.
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Chapter 5: Learning in post-recession framing contests: Changing UK road policy

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CHAPTER 5

Learning in post-recession framing contests

Changing UK road policy

Antje WITTING

University of Konstanz, Germany

Stéphane MOYSON

Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Introduction

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt claimed that “the country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something” (Roosevelt, 1932). Roosevelt responded to the crisis with various public work programs, such as road building, to boost the economy. The US Interstate road system is a legacy of this era. Road building, at that time, was one of the methods that Roosevelt tested to mitigate the effects of a major economic recession and sustain economic growth as well as productivity. Nowadays, however, there is less support for road building programs. In Western countries, particularly, that had an opportunity to observe the effectiveness of such programs, we witnessed gradual changes of “policy paradigm” in the road sector.

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