Public event

Who’s to blame when disaster strikes? Patterns of failed management and coordination in public administration

Book presentation with author Wolfgang Seibel

credit: campus verlag 2017

Disaster is the rarest scenario when there is an organisational failure in public administration. Yet even in rule of law-based democracies, with mechanisms for prevention, disasters do occur. Bridges collapse, large-scale public events end in tragedy, child protection authorities fail to prevent abuse or even fatalities, and needs go unmet after natural disasters. These calamities happen rarely, but when they do happen they can obviously not be treated as mere statistical outliers. Understanding the patterns of management and coordination deficits is a step towards disaster prevention. Join us for a discussion with Wolfgang Seibel, co-author of the recent book, Verwaltungsdesaster. Von der Loveparade bis zu den NSU-Ermittlungen (Campus 2017) with Kevin Klamann, research assistant at the University of Konstanz, and Hannah Treis, MPP student at the Hertie School. Book cover by Campus Verlag.

Wolfgang Seibel is a Full Professor of Politics and Public Administration in Konstanz and an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at the Hertie School. His research focuses on the political functions of public administration and different types of intermediary or transitory organizations such as civil society and non-profit organizations, networks, the interim administrative bodies of German reunification, occupation regimes and international interim administration.


Paul 't Hart is Professor of Public Administration at Utrecht University and Associate Dean of the Netherlands School of Public Administration in The Hague. He resumed both positions in mid-2011, after spending five years as Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. Professor Hart chaired the Dutch Society for Public Administration from 2012-2017, and was a member of the commission evaluating the 2012 Police Law, which entailed the largest public sector merger in Dutch history.  


Luciana Cingolani is Assistant Professor for Public Administration at the Hertie School. Her research interests lie at the intersection between public management and technology, with a focus on administrative capacity building, transparency and accountability, and the role of eServices and Open Data.