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Cyber Crisis Management & Communication


Admission requirements

Admission only after intake, see website of the Cyber Security Academy

Elective in master’s programme Cyber Security


When a real (cyber) crisis emerges –crisis communication is a vital link in managing the risk consciousness of the population at large and reassuring people in concrete crisis situations. With the emergence of new social media an extra dimension is added to the complex communicational relationship between authorities and citizens in handling crises and assessing the crisis and communication performance of authorities. In this course we will look at the challenges and dilemmas authorities face in dealing with crisis in general and cyber crisis more particularly. 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 (cyber)crisis management.

Course objectives

  • Students are able to reconstruct the historical trajectory of the discipline of crisis management in terms of management philosophy, key actors and their roles.

  • Students gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the role of public leaders before during and after a cyber crisis and are able to analyze real world examples of public leaders dealing with cyber crises in terms of challenges, strategies, and leadership styles and their outcomes in the policy- and political arena.

  • Students gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the role of citizens during cyber crisis and are able to identify and analyze the consequences thereof in terms of communication, cooperation and self-organizing principles as presented in crisis management literature.

  • Students are able to reproduce key concepts from academic literature on crisis communication and fear management, including framing strategies, rituals of reassurance and best practices, and apply those to concrete examples of fear management efforts in practice.

  • Students are able to select relevant theoretical notions from academic literature on crisis management and translate these into understandable questions for professionals working in the field of cyber crisis management and cyber crisis communication.

  • Students are able to critically evaluate the political and societal implications of different approaches towards cyber crisis management


5 Fridays from 9.30 until 17.00, either in April/May or in June/July, to be scheduled dependant on preferences of participants.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, seminars, exercises, class discussion
Lecturers: Prof.dr. Arjen Boin e.a

Course Load

4 EC

Assessment method

Written test - 20%
Individual presentation - 20%
Final exam - 60%

No compensation is possible for assignments of 30% or more. Only assessments with a weight under 30% are compensable. This means that one does not have to pass an assessment if it weighs less than 30% in order to pass the course, if the average of all assessments combined is at least a 5.5. In addition, assignments with less than 30% are not re-sitable, meaning that if one failed an assessment of less than 30%, one is not allowed to redo it.


Yes, for posting slides of lectures, relevant literature and assignments.

Reading list

Compulsory literature and literature for further consultation will be announced via Blackboard.


No registration is required for lectures and exams.


Prof.dr. Arjen Boin

Drs. Mireille Snels, programme manager


For more information see the website of the Cyber Security Academy