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Crisis Management

Vak 2014-2015


Modern societies are said to be vulnerable for (international) crises, ranging from terrorist attacks, floods, pandemics and critical infrastructure breakdowns to nuclear incidents or breakdowns of public order. The essence of crisis management consists of both preparing for crisis as well as crisis handling and crisis termination. In this course, the different phases of crisis management will be explored and studied: sense making, decision making, meaning making, terminating and learning. By exploring different conceptual and theoretical strands in academic literature combined with the in-depth study of empirical cases, students will get familiarized with the main concepts, processes, challenges and dilemmas of crisis management. Special attention will be given to the effects of the globalization of crisis for effective crisis management, the importance of crisis communication in the social media area and the evaluation and learning cycle once a crisis has been terminated. A serious game, in which students have to deal with a crisis situation, is part of the course.

Learning objectives

After the course students will be able to

  • Understand and apply the main conceptual and theoretical approaches towards crisis management
  • Understand the historical trajectory of crisis management, its actors and structures
  • Understand the role of Political Leadership in times of crises
  • Apply the lessons learned and best practices in crisis management in a crisis management exercise (Serious Game)



Methods of instruction

The sessions are dedicated to lectures and a simulation game. This course is compulsory.

Study load

  • total study load: 140 hrs., of which: – contact hours: 21 – self-study hours: 119

Method of assesment

(1) Four essay (Rolling Exam) questions in which students have to apply conceptual and theoretical knowledge on empirical cases (70% of total grade)
(2) Preparation and evaluation of Serious Game (25%)
(3) Preparing Q&A session with expert panel on crisis management (5%)

The calculated grade must be at least 5,50 in order to pass the course. Failed sub grades should be compensated by passed sub grades. Therefore, retakes of sub grades are not possible.


Yes, course will be available two weeks in advance

Other course materials/literature

To be announced


Registration for every course and exam in USIS is mandatory. For courses, registration is possible from four weeks up to three days before the start of the course.
For exams, registration is possible from four weeks up to ten days before the date of the examination.


All communication should be directed to both Ruth Prins and Jelle van Buuren. Please send your email to BOTH email addresses: Ruth Prins & Jelle van Buuren