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The Walkerton water tragedy and Versailles banquet hall collapse: regulatory failure and policy change

McConnell, Allan and Schwartz, R. (2008) The Walkerton water tragedy and Versailles banquet hall collapse: regulatory failure and policy change. In: Governing after crisis : the politics of investigation, accountability and learning. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 208-231. ISBN 9780521712446

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Abstract

The constant threat of crises such as disasters, riots and terrorist attacks poses a frightening challenge to Western societies and governments. While the causes and dynamics of these events have been widely studied, we know little about what happens following their containment and the restoration of stability. This volume explores 'post-crisis politics,' examining how crises give birth to longer term dynamic processes of accountability and learning which are characterised by official investigations, blame games, political manoeuvring, media scrutiny and crisis exploitation. Drawing from a wide range of contemporary crises, including Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the Madrid train bombings, the Walkerton water contamination, Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia and the Boxing Day Asian tsunami, this is a ground-breaking volume which addresses the longer term impact of crisis-induced politics. Competing pressures for stability and change mean that policies, institutions and leaders may occasionally be uprooted, but often survive largely intact.