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Crisis Management



Purpose: 1 In this course students will learn:

  • about the main theories that explain the causes and patterns of crises and disasters;

  • how to apply these theories to analyze international and national crisis cases;

  • to assess the impact of political leadership on the outcomes of crises and disasters

  • To understand the role of international organizations in the management of crises

  • to understand the dynamics of the post-crisis phase (media and the “blame game”)
    Purpose: 2 Students will practice the following skills:

  • review a book on a crisis-related topic

  • write a research proposal

  • write a thesis in which selected theories are applied to one or more crisis cases

  • translate theoretical findings into advice for practitioners


This course aims to enhance students’ understanding of the complex challenges that crises pose. It explains the causes of these crises, by familiarizing students with the different schools of thinking on causes of crises and disasters. It will explore whether crises and disasters are changing (and getting worse). It maps patterns and consequences of crises and disasters, demonstrating the importance of adequate crisis and disaster management. It will offer an overview of best practices and common pathologies, which will help students understand what public leaders and international organizations can do to manage these crises. The seminar will build on a mix of theory, real-life cases, and policy documents. Students will learn to apply theoretical insights to the analysis of real-life crisis cases, formulating actionable advice for public authorities.

Methods of Instruction


Study Material

Book: A. Boin, M. Ekengren and M. Rhinard (2013) The EU as Crisis Manager. Cambridge University Press.
Articles (see Syllabus)


Book review 20%
Research proposal 10%
Thesis 70%




See preliminary info