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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 8: Health risks and political crises in Canada. A critical analysis of the public-private partnerships

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← 180 | 181 →

CHAPTER 8

Health risks and political crises in Canada

A critical analysis of the public-private partnerships

Gabriel BLOUIN GENEST

University of Moncton, Canada

Introduction: Health crises1 and learning processes?

On June 11, 2009, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced that the international community had entered the pandemic stage for a new flu strain, the H1N1 virus:

I have conferred with leading influenza experts, virologists, and public health officials. […] On the basis of available evidence, and these expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic have been met. I have therefore decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6. The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic (Chan, 2009 – we emphasize)2.

Dr. Chan rapidly added that “[n]o previous pandemic has been detected so early or watched so closely, in real-time, right at the very beginning. The world can now reap the benefits of investments […] in pandemic preparedness. We have a head start. This places us in a strong position” (Chan, 2009). These acknowledgments implicitly refer to leaning processes instituted over the years regarding several global health crises (SARS, Cholera, AIDS, etc.), and that allowed for an improvement ← 181 | 182 → in global health crisis management. These learning processes prompted, regarding this new H1N1 pandemic, a kind of enthusiasm by...

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