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Managing and Coordinating Crisis Response (5 ECTS)


Admission requirements

  • Only students of the MSc Crisis and Security Management can take this course. This 5 ECTS equivalent of the course is only open to students with permission from the study advisors to follow this course as part of their personal study plan.


Modern societies are said to be vulnerable for crises, ranging from terrorist attacks, floods, pandemics and critical infrastructure breakdowns to nuclear incidents and major disturbances of public order. By exploring different conceptual and theoretical strands in academic literature combined with the in-depth study of empirical cases, students will get familiarised with the main concepts, processes, challenges, and dilemmas of crisis management. Special attention will be paid to what effective crisis management entails, the role of leadership in crisis management, citizen responses to crises, and the politics of crisis management.

The research skill of analysis is at the heart of this course, that will be taught based on several activating working methods, such as: a serious game/simulation, group discussions and presentations, and in-class formative (group) assignments. Students will learn to translate their comparative analysis of several crises to a policy-oriented paper that will prepare them for the labour market in the field of crisis management.

Course Objectives

After finalizing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Reconstruct a crisis situation, seeking evidence and drawing from empirical and theoretical materials for an informed and critical judgment, to analyse the performance of crisis managers in terms of the key concepts taught in the course.
  2. Reconstruct the historical trajectory of the discipline of crisis management by differentiating between command & control versus resilience philosophies, and between event-based versus process-based approaches.
  3. Understand, based on advanced knowledge, the role of public leaders dealing with crises, and identify and apply theoretical and analytical frameworks, in a conceptually and methodologically rigorous manner, to analyse real-world cases in terms of challenges, strategies, leadership styles, and their outcomes in the policy- and political arena.
  4. Understand, based on advanced knowledge, the role of citizens during crisis, and identify and analyse the consequences thereof in terms of communication, cooperation and self-organising principles.
  5. Apply theories to cases in an academic essay to analyse and compare cases from a specified perspective, and offer a sound and balanced argumentation with an eye for the validity and reliability of data in crisis research.
  6. Apply the basic notions of crisis management, recognise decision-making biases, and critically reflect on their own performance in crisis simulations.
  7. Discuss the main challenges and opportunities that relevant stakeholders at multiple levels of governance experience, and critically assess the political and societal implications of crisis management in terms of legitimacy and power relations.
  8. Translate academic knowledge into policy-oriented recommendations, and, in doing so, show an attitude aimed at a high level of self-directed and autonomous learning and functioning.
  9. Self-evaluate and reflect after interactive in-class work and individual assignments.


On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of Instruction

A combination of interactive lectures and activating workgroups. In the lectures key concepts and methodologies will be taught that will be applied, experienced, and tested in the workgroups. The workgroups will feature several compulsory formative (non-graded) tests that will help the student prepare for the summative (graded) assignments.

Assessment method

For this 5 ECTS course, the assessments are different compared to the 10 ECTS equivalent. Please consult the lecturer.

Reading list

A selection of books and articles, to be announced on Brightspace.


by OSC staff.


Dr. Jeroen Wolbers & Dr. Sanneke Kuipers