Lee Miles (Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management) and the Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) convened a panel at the 58th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA) – widely regarded as the premier international conference for international studies/International Relations entitled ‘Policy Entrepreneurship and Political Change at Times of Crisis’, held in Baltimore in the USA (Friday 24 February 2017).
Not only did the panel include papers from leading academic authorities on the subject of policy entrepreneurship in the US (Professors Ralph Carter and James M. Scott), and Canada (Professor Charles-Philippe David) that examined policy entrepreneurship in handling crisis in the US Congress and US Presidency, but the panel also included contributions from leading members of the Disaster Management Centre. Alongside a sole-authored paper by Lee Miles on ‘Group Dynamics as Drivers of Political Change’, Lee and Dr Henry Bang (Research Fellow in Disaster Management) delivered key 2017 preliminary findings from the ‘Mini-AFRIGATE’ project on policy entrepreneurs in the African disaster management context in their paper: ‘A Glass of Crisis Management with a Foreign Policy Twist? Entrepreneurial Resilience in the Cameroon’. The paper and feedback acquired at the panel will also form the basis of a policy-oriented best practice workshop with African policy-makers scheduled to take place at Bournemouth University in late March 2017.
The final paper in the panel focused on the Ukrainian Crisis and the role of policy entrepreneurs in handling longer term crisis and constitutes dissemination of an innovative project that brings together researchers from the UK (Lee Miles) and Sweden (Dr Viktoriia Panova). The panel was well received and highlighted how policy entrepreneurship represents a key area of interest that provides further insights into how the innovative skills of policy-makers, legislators, disaster managers and entrepreneurs may be a factor during times of crisis and turmoil. It also represents yet another major success for the BUDMC in competitively securing and convening a panel at one of the world’s premier IR conferences for the second year running.