New Project Funded! Understanding the ‘Creeping Crisis’

Arjen Boin, Magnus Ekengren and Mark Rhinard have been awarded a major 4-year grant to study the dynamics and management demands of ‘creeping crises’. The project, which runs from 2019-2023 is titled ‘Understanding the Creeping Crisis: Towards Transboundary Detection, Intervention, and Management.’

Creeping crises are crises that simmer under the radar to suddenly and unexpectedly explode in the societal domain. They originate, travel and escalate owing to transboundary dynamics. They are the product of the social and technical spaces in which we live. This transboundary nature of creeping crises makes them hard to understand, detect, trace and contain. Practitioners need new knowledge and evidence-based strategies to prepare for these creeping crises. This project generates a set of scientifically validated frameworks for practitioners to understand and act upon creeping crises. It will help practitioners protect Swedish society from creeping crises by employing evidence-based and forward-thinking strategies. We will analyze cross-border dynamics, studying them within a variety of real-life natural, technical and social crises, in order to produce three important insights for MSB: where creeping crises originate and how they emerge (and thus can be better detected in the future), how they travel (and thus can be stopped), and how they can be contained (if and when they escalate into full crises). This project will identify what steps can be taken and where resources are best invested to address this increasingly challenging development. Outputs include academic publications and policy papers that result in methods and checklists for immediate use. We will organize frequent meetings with MSB officials and disseminate our findings in newspaper editorials, public workshops and scholarly conferences.

More information is available here: