The EU and critical crisis transformation: the evolution of a policy concept

Sandra Pogodda, Roger Mac Ginty, Oliver Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While often caused by conflict, crises are treated by the EU as a phenomenon of their own. Contemporary EU crisis management represents a watering down of normative EU approaches to peacebuilding, reduced to a technical exercise with the limited ambition to contain spillover effects of crises. In theoretical terms this is a reversal, which tilts intervention towards EU security interests and avoids engagement with the root causes of the crises. This paper develops a novel crisis response typology derived from conflict theory, which ranges from crisis management to crisis resolution and (critical) crisis transformation. By drawing on EU interventions in Libya, Mali and Ukraine, the paper demonstrates that basic crisis management approaches are pre-eminent in practice. More promising innovations remain largely confined to the realms of discourse and policy documentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-106
Number of pages22
JournalConflict, Security and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 King’s College London.


  • Crisis management
  • EU
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Ukraine
  • conflict theory
  • crisis transformation


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