Stefan Voigt

General seminars
amse seminar

Stefan Voigt

Hamburg University
Why do governments call a state of emergency?
Joint with
Christian Bjørnskov

VC Cinéma le Miroir

Centre de la Vieille-Charité - Cinéma le Miroir

Centre de la Vieille Charité
2 rue de la Charité
13002 Marseille

Monday, February 22 2016| 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Michel Lubrano: michel.lubrano[at]
Antonin Macé: antonin.mace[at]


States of emergency do not only imply a significant change in the balance of powers between the three branches of government, they are also very frequently declared: between 1985 and 2014, at least 137 countries were subject to at least one such event.  This contribution is the first to systematically inquire into the factors determining such declarations. We find that it is crucial to distinguish between states of emergency declared as a consequence of a natural disaster from those declared as a consequence of political turmoil. Distinguishing between the costs of declaring an emergency and its benefits, we find that differences in the benefits are not significantly correlated with either type of emergency. Regarding the cost of calling an emergency, the less costly it is the more such emergencies will be called on the grounds of natural disasters but not on the grounds of political turmoil. Emergencies based on political turmoil are more likely to be declared if an economic crisis is hitting the country.