Staging and Performing Emergencies: The Role of Exercises in UK Preparedness

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Geography


Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.


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Adey P (2011) An ash cloud, airspace and environmental threat Boundary Crossings in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

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Adey P (2011) Event and Anticipation: UK Civil Contingencies and the Space-Times of Decision in Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

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Anderson B (2012) Governing events and life: 'Emergency' in UK Civil Contingencies in Political Geography

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Anderson B (2011) Affect and Security: Exercising Emergency in 'UK Civil Contingencies' in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Description The project has had the following research impacts
1: Developed a new understanding of how UK emergency planning is organised around scalar and networked forms of coordination, thus showing how new organisational forms have emerged to deal with the problem of how to govern disruptive events. This challenges one-dimensional understandings of the growth of networked modes of organisation.
2: Contributed to moving the debate on how western states govern through emergency away from a preoccupation with the formal declaration of a 'state of emergency' and towards a focus on ways of anticipating future emergencies and responding once an emergency occurs.
2: Made a leading contribution to work on how techniques of anticipation function to secure life, by outlining a precise account of the roles and functions of 'exercises' in contemporary UK emergency planning and the relation between exercises and other techniques (such as risk registers or scenarios). Through observations of exercises and interviews with emergency planners involved in the design and undertaking of exercises, we have shown how exercises are operationalised within a specific system of emergency preparedness.
3: Moved debates on how contemporary western states govern through the future, by developing and putting to work a theoretical vocabulary that distinguishes between types of anticipatory action and between specific anticipatory techniques.
Exploitation Route First, the findings can be taken forward in the study of the variety of ways in which emergencies are governed today, and the varied implications of those different ways of governing.

Second, the research can be taken forward by focusing on the specific practical and institutional arrangements that are invented and happen as emergencies are governed.

Second, the research has implications for how emergency planners design and undertake exercises, particularly thinking through what constitutes learning in exercises and how to manage exercise dynamics more effectively to achieve the varied aims and objectives of exercises.
Sectors Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy