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This paper is a modest contribution to the vast exploration to be embarked upon as our maps appear increasingly outdated. We will first explore some outmoded ‘taken for granted’ assumptions and visions: this section aims to clarify why the crisis management world has profoundly changed and how the current understanding of crises and theoretical frameworks is becoming increasingly less adequate. Then, we will try to meet the second challenge of this special issue, by suggesting innovative approaches that will contribute to elaborate the building blocks of a theory of crisis management. We will propose a new theoretical framework, through the use of a fractal approach, following the footsteps of Benoit Mandelbrot, in order to rethink and capture the essence of the new theatre of operations that must be dealt with. Throughout, we will show how this original framework could be put into practice and what its limitations and perspectives are.