Europe’s fast – and slow-burning crises

Europe's fast - and slow-burning crises

Leonard Seabrooke and Eleni Tsingou
Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark

The European Union has been confronted with crises across a range of policy areas. Crises have typically been viewed as providing impetus for further integration but are now straining the European project. This research agenda piece proposes a framework to understand crises and distinguish how they are comprehended as ‘fast-burning’ and ‘slow-burning’ phenomena.
Those who view crises as fast-burning typically rally material and ideational resources to address issues with high political intensity. When a crisis is perceived as slow-burning, the key concern is with how the issue is framed and how social expectations are changing. Thinking of fast- and slow-burning crises permits analytical distinctions in how authorities and social actors view crises and how they consider actual conditions and future narratives.
The framework assists in specifying how authorities and expert and civil society groups develop policy programmes and frames, as well as changes to European societies’ experiences and expectations.

KEYWORDS Crisis; temporality; frames; policy programs; social expectations; expertise

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