Sticking Together

How Local Politicians Make Sense of and Respond to International Crises

Martin Mølholm, Aalborg University
Anders Horsbøl, Aalborg University

A volume in the series: History and Society: Integrating social, political and economic sciences. Editor(s): Jaan Valsiner, Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University. Søren Dosenrode, Aalborg University. Mario Carretero, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Published 2022

In this book, a study is presented that investigates how municipal politicians make sense of recent European crises. City Council members’ representation and conceptualization of the financial crisis in 2008, the refugee crisis in 2015 and the terror crisis up through the 21st. century, and how they represent their own response to, and way of handling, the crises, is analyzed. Thereby, the local politicians’ understanding of their political agency vis-a -vis international crises is explored. More specifically, the investigation is based on a case-study of a local municipality in Denmark.

The study shows that there is a feeling of a high degree of agency among the city council members, as to the city councils’ ability to act in times of crises. Furthermore, in times of crises the city council is perceived as a united agent, rather than an arena for conflicts or negotiations. Differences are put aside in order to act swift and pragmatically. Thus, the city council members appear to experience themselves primarily as members of the city council, when various crises requires them to act within a very short time span.

Editor’s Preface, Jaan Valsiner. CHAPTER 1: Introduction. PART I CHAPTER 2: International Crises and Local Politics. CHAPTER 3: Methodology and Data. PART II CHAPTER 4: We Were Just Smashing Good at Sticking Together: Local Political Narratives Counteracting International Crises. CHAPTER 5: We Are Not Like Any of the Others. CHAPTER 6: In Times of Crisis, We Move Up. CHAPTER 7: The Refugee Crises: A Sudden And Very Pragmatic Problem. CHAPTER 8: Conclusion. CHAPTER 9: Postscript: Local Political Decision-Making Processes in the Light of the Corona Crisis in Europe. References.