Conference paper

Blackout Ahead : Methodological Concerns in Studies of Critical Infrastructure Protection


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Publication Details

Author list: Große, Christine

Publisher: European Safety and Reliability Association

Place: Singapore

Publication year: 2019

Start page: 1715

End page: 1723

Number of pages: 9

ISBN: 978-981-11-2724-3

DOI: 0304-cd


This paper highlights difficulties in studying the Swedish crisis management system with a specific focus on the planning process STYREL. This process seeks to identify and prioritize vital objects in the category of critical infrastructure (CI) in order to elaborate an emergency response plan for the case of a power shortage. The concerns in this paper originate from a research project on how actors assess CI and cooperate during the process as well as which consequences the prioritization of CI pose for society and its citizens. The project employed material from document studies in addition to interviews with security officers at municipalities, coordinators at CountyAdministrative Boards (CABs), and representatives from power grid operators (PGOs). Furthermore, a survey was conducted among all CABs and the ten PGOs that are responsible for effectuating the plan within the initial phaseof a power shortage. The results reveal problems regarding the availability of relevant planning material, gaps in knowledge due to deficient continuity, difficulties in tracing particular objects during the process, and a lack of feedback that hampers evaluation and development. Thus, Swedish critical infrastructure protection (CIP) suffers from not only a shift in responsibility to regional and local actors but also a severe lack of systemic governance.


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