The way of dealing with crisis differs by actors by actors. Stark differences are seen between state actors and non state actors. State actors are authorized to use force as the last resort to resolve the crisis. On the other hand, unlike the East India Company in the era of colonial mercantilism, non state actors today are not armed to defeat insurgents, terrorists, and whoever threatens their vital interests. Therefore, sovereign state has ultimate resources in crisis management. The public needs to be well educated to watch, exert influence on, and cooperate with the government.
Let me talk about two cases. One is a natural disaster without precedence, which is the
accident in 2011, following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This is the
first incident of human history that nuclear power plant was hit by natural
disaster, and unlike Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, no instruction manuals
assumed such a thing. Criticism to Japanese Prime Minister-then Fukushima
spurred as the media and the public were upset with the crisis. They were obsessed
with specific errors in his conducts, but failed to discuss his policy and administration
skill to manage the crisis. Naoto Kan
The other case is a man-made disaster, which is the In Aménas hostage crisis in
this year. Though victims were multinational, the Bouteflika administration of Algeria attacked the site to defeat
terrorists without sufficient consideration to global standards for safety of
the captive. The Algerian government did not even consider requesting foreign
intervention to help their troops, though American, British, and French Special Forces
are more skilled to execute the mission to balance counterterrorism and hostage
We, including the media know too little about crisis management. Thus, we may make a wrong judgment about the conduct of leaders in crisis. In other words, we can evaluate on going situations quite emotionally. Therefore, it is necessary to promote understanding and awareness on crisis management. Think tanks and private foundations can host forums and lectures on to educate the public. Preferably, these events should be open to anyone through internet videos, not just accessible to closed members. Also, fundamental concepts of crisis management should be taught in more college courses from undergraduate level. Good national and corporate leaders need comprehensive and systematic understanding of this area. It is too dangerous that training for crisis management is substantially dependent on OJT.