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Crisis Management


Admission requirements

Course for students enrolled in master program Crisis and Security Management.


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 familiarized with the main concepts, processes, challenges and dilemmas of crisis management. Special attention will be paid to the causes of crises, the effects of transboundary challenges to effective crisis management, the role of leadership in crisis management, citizen response to crisis situations and crisis communication and accountability. A serious game, in which students have to deal with a crisis situation, is part of the course.

Course objectives

  1. Students are able to reconstruct the historical trajectory of the discipline of crisis management by differentiating between the command and control style of crisis management versus the resilience approach as well as between the event-based approach versus the process-based approach in terms of management philosophy, key actors and their roles.
  2. Students gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the role of public leaders before during and after a crisis and are able to analyze real world examples of public leaders dealing with crises in terms of challenges, strategies, and leadership styles and their outcomes in the policy- and political arena.
  3. Students gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the role of citizens during 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.
  4. Students are able to reproduce key concepts from academic literature on causes of crisis, crisis and disaster management responses in terms of sense making and coordination, and questions of accountability and legitimacy..
  5. Students are able to present and analyze a case in light of a given theory in written essay assignments.
  6. 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 crisis management and crisis communication
  7. Students are able to apply the basic notions of crisis management and crisis communication, and evaluate their own performance in this regard in a group assignment, by participating in a serious game in which they have to make decisions in order to manage a crisis and active communication with the public is required.


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 simulation game.
This course is compulsory.

Course Load

Total study load 140 hours

  • contact hours: 21

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

Assessment method

  • 2 x rolling exam questions, (each one third of the grade)

  • 1 x evaluation serious game (group assignment, one third of the grade)

  • 1 x preparation Q&A session (not graded, but mandatory)

Resit: Only the rolling exam questions can be resat, and only if the partial grade of the rolling exam question concerned is lower than 5.5. This implies that both the evaluation paper and grades 5.5 and higher for the rolling exam questions cannot be resat. Compensation between rolling exam questions and the evaluation paper is only possible if the weighted average of these graded components is 5.5 or higher.


The corresponding Blackboard course will open up one week prior to the start of the lectures.

Reading list

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 to dr. Sanneke Kuipers and dr. Jeroen Wolbers. Please send your email to or