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Framing the Field of Homeland Security: The Case of Norway


Per Lægreid, Department of Administration and Organization Theory, University of Bergen, Christiegt. 17, 5007 Bergen, Norway (


abstract  This paper takes as a point of departure a notion of reorganization as a way of managing risk. It examines the reorganization process in the Norwegian central administration for homeland security. As a central theme the paper explores why the proposal to radically reorganize the administration by replacing a network model with a hierarchical model resulted in a much more modest change to a hybrid agency model. The descriptive part of the paper traces the reorganization process, starting with the initiative taken by the Ministry of Justice in 1999 to establish a public commission and ending with the final parliamentary resolution in 2002. Despite the 9/11 terrorist attack that occurred in the middle of the process and its implications for security, only minor changes were made to existing arrangements. A striking feature of the process was negative coordination, indicating that the wish to coordinate was greater than the willingness to be coordinated. To understand why this was so, we look at bureaucratic politics and bargaining between different interests, at institutional identities and strong cultures and traditions within different governmental bodies. We focus especially on framing processes within and between organizational fields.