People Political Sciences

Marlene Jugl Wins IRSPM Christopher Pollitt Prize for Best Conference Paper

, by Weiwei Chen
This prize is awarded to the authors of the best paper submitted and presented during the International Research Society for Public Management conference

Marlene Jugl, of Bocconi's Department of Social and Political Sciences, is one of the two winners of Christopher Pollitt Prize for Best Conference Paper, conferred by the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM).

This prize is awarded during the IRSPM conference to the authors of the best paper submitted and presented at any panel of the conference (Budapest, 3-5 April, 2023). Papers are nominated by panel chairs and assessed by a committee chaired by the conference host. It is named after the late Professor Christopher Pollitt, whose outstanding public management scholarship is well known around the world.

Prof. Jugl's paper, "Country Size, Vulnerability, and Collective Crisis Recognition", studies how different governments recognize crises to better understand the reasons why some manage crises more efficiently than others.

Previous literature has argued that the more specialized governments are, the better they are at recognizing a crisis early, but Prof. Jugl finds the opposite. "When there is a formal professional structure that focuses on monitoring crisis signals, everyone else just says 'it's their business' and does not pay attention to it. This was the case of Germany during the migration crisis in 2015. The country had a specialized monitoring unit, but they were under so much pressure that they were very afraid of sounding a false alarm. So, they completely underestimated the number of asylum seekers in 2015 and, in the end, this structure failed. Luxembourg however, being a small country, didn't have the capacity for such a specialized unit. And we would expect, based on previous research, that they would not be so good at recognizing the crisis, but they were actually better and faster," says Prof. Jugl. "It's kind of a paradox, but the reason is that in the case of Luxembourg, everyone in the government tried to contribute, which made the difference."

IRSPM's mission is to develop and support research about public management and public policy implementation amongst the international research community and to facilitate the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and understanding across this community.