Crisis Leadership and the Art of Denial

Carol Raye White


With BSE and the more recent Japanese nuclear accident fresh in our memories, a call for transparency and straightforwardness in the way political leaders handle risk assessment and emerging states of emergency is likely to go unanswered. The first response of leaders in any emerging crisis situation is to offer reassurance that all is well, even when common sense and evidence is available to the contrary. This paper sets out to examine the reasons for, and consequences of, government responses to states of emergency and potential disaster.

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