Moving forward or back? Changes in Norway's risk governance strategy following the 2011 Oslo terror attacks

Studio Apertura
​More than four years after one of the most horrific events in modern-day Norwegian history, we look into the development of Norway´s societal safety and emergency preparedness. The Gjørv commission, an independent group that was appointed to investigate the disaster, identified several deficits. After the commission’s report was published, several plans and measures were introduced. The question of utmost interest is: How far has the government come along with its risk governance strategy in societal safety and security? In a previous study, we used the International Risk Governance Council´s framework to organize the deficits identified in the investigations. The present paper, based on interviews with key personnel, revisits these deficits and whether the measures taken have redressed them. We argue that despite several measures that were implemented after 2011, there are still fundamental weaknesses in Norway´s risk governance strategy. The findings point to three matters of concern regarding the measures: 1) too many fragmented and uncoordinated measures 2) disproportionate allocation of resources, favoring the upper levels, and the preparedness for national emergencies, typically linked to terrorism, and 3) deficient cooperation across various levels and sectors. We suggest some explanations for these key structural problems in post-22nd of July Norway.