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Can crisis governance innovate democracy?

Current approaches prepare to "bounce back" from crisis by building resilience. But what if going back is not what we want? The ROBUST project is about learning to "build back better" by innovating one's way through a crisis.

How do EU citizens experience crises?

We take a citizen-centric approach, asking how crisis governance at multiple levels (EU, national, regional, and local) all add up to shape how citizens experience crisis and response.

Why not learn from each other?

ROBUST facilitates mutual learning by gathering evidence from 18 European locations, identifying strategies and mindsets that enable robustness, and hosting online learning sessions.

Drawing on European diversity

The ROBUST team draws together researchers from all corners of Europe to help understand the complex dynamics of crisis governance.

Prof. Jacob Torfing, Roskilde University (DK)

Tallinn Technical University (EE)
University of Turin (IT)
University of Antwerp (BE)
Utrecht University (NL)
European Public Health Alliance (BE)
Nord University (NO)
University of Zaragosa (ES)
Corvinus University (HU)
Masaryk University (CZ)



“Robustness” becomes a need when it can no longer be taken for granted. Increasing turbulence challenges public sector central planning and sectoral resilience strategies because of its chaotic nature. The ability to innovative and adapt on the spot becomes necessary to respond robustly. We work under the assumption that this ability in turn is constituted by interactivity in multi-level governance, hybridity in governance, democracy, and law, and negotiability of societal intelligence.

To keep updated about results from this project, please subscribe to our newsletter. You can already now study existing research of robust governance in a Public Administration Special Issue published online July 2022.

We need citizens, experts, and stakeholders to share their experiences of crises in Europe. And we need your honest feedback on where we are going. To be part of the ROBUST Learning Hub, please subscribe to our newsletter.




Proudly funded by
the European Union
through Horizon Europe
Grant no. 101061272