nl en

Introduction into Crisis and Security Management


Admission requirements

Course for students enrolled in master program Crisis and Security Management


Security ranks high in both the public conscience and political and administrative policies. Acts of terrorism have frightened the public, the fear for crime is high and man or nature made disasters make their way into the headlines. In this course students will get acquainted with shifts in definitions, concepts and meaning of crisis & security, the main theoretical and empirical insights in security and the function of security as a governing technique. Further, attention is called for shifts in the management or governance of crisis & security. Security nowadays is no longer the prerogative of the state, but is also provided by private actors, citizens, civil society and international security actors. Empirical studies into actual security issues will be presented to familiarize students with methodological challenges in studying the governance of crisis & security. A simulation game and/or final seminar will be organized to this end.
The course also serves as an essential footing that explores the broad field of crisis and security governance that is studied in depth in other CSM courses. It also functions as the theoretical and conceptual foundation for two successive courses: Research Design, in which students are provided with an understanding of the basic principles of research into the field of CSM; and the Master Thesis, in which students will combine the previously gained insights in the conceptual and theoretical dimensions of crisis and security governance and the methodological insights introduced during the course Research Design in their own thesis project.

Course objectives

  1. Students will be able to identify and qualify the ongoing broadening and deepening of the object of security studies in terms of the involvement of a multitude of security actors, security threats and referent objects of security by studying, reviewing and commenting key texts in security studies.
  2. Students will be able to recognize and apply the multidisciplinary approach towards crisis and security studies by comparing different disciplinary approaches towards current security and crisis situations in terms of differences and similarities between, amongst others, international relations, history, law, public administration, political science, sociology, social psychology and communication studies and their relevance for understanding (in)security by studying, reviewing and commenting key texts in security studies.
  3. Students will be able to map and analyze the (functioning of the) multiplicity of public, private and civic security actors engaged in security practices by using theoretical insights on the governance of security networks on both local as well as national, regional or global levels and will be able to critically analyze the changing power constellations as a result of the emergence of security networks by discussing and analyzing concrete and current examples of security networks
  4. Students are able to identify some of the main research designs common in security studies, such as case studies, comparative research, historical research and qualitative and explorative research, and some of the main research methodologies common in security studies, such as agenda setting, process tracing, network mapping, social media research, discourse analysis and document analysis, and compare them in terms of feasibility, validity and reliability.
  5. Students will be able as member of a crisis team to solve a specific simulated crisis situation while using relevant academic skills in terms of information processing, information analysis and decision making
  6. Students will be able to identify and apply the social constructivist dimensions of (in)security by analyzing current security and crisis incidents while relating them to the academic study of security and showing by that their awareness of the political, social, economic and media dynamics inherent in security and crisis discourses and practices


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

Mode of instruction

Six lectures and one session devoted to a Serious Game.

This course is compulsory. Attendance in lectures is required.

Course Load

Total study load 140 hours

  • contact hours: 21

  • self-study hours: reading, preparing lectures, assignments, etc.: 119

Assessment method

Students need to hand in:

  • Three times 'CSM today' (5% of final grade)

  • Four times Rolling Exam Question (each REQ 10% of final grade)

  • Evaluation of the Serious Game (5% of final grade)

  • Final Paper (50% of final grade)

Compensation rule: Only assessments with the weight lower than 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 resitable, meaning that if one failed an assessment of less than 30%, one is not allowed to redo it.

The resit takes the same form.


The corresponding Blackboard course will be made available one week prior to the start of the course.

Reading list

A selection of articles, to be announced on Blackboard.


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted there.


All communication should be directed by e-mail to: