nl en

Public Administration: Track Crisis and Security Management

This track is a specialisation of the Public Administration Master.

This track is made up of five core courses (see: core courses), the thesis and three specialisation courses. An overview of the year can be found via Practical Information and via overview of the year

If the courses are not visible, please click on ‘Nederlands’ or “English” (top right of screen)


The safety of citizens has been a traditional responsibility of the state. In recent years, however, the capacity of national governments to protect citizens and to secure critical infrastructures has come under pressure. The modern society appears increasingly vulnerable to a variety of well-known threats such as terrorism (9/11, Madrid, London, Van Gogh), climate change and natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami), but also less visible threats such as organized crime, illegal immigration, energy, and infrastructural breakdowns.

Incidents such as riots, industrial accidents, political scandals, natural disasters and terrorist acts do not occur frequently. When they do, they demand the full attention of all involved in the management of these incidents in order to avoid or minimize disastrous consequences. Students of this specialization will become familiar with the causes of these incidents. Also they will learn how these incidents can be prevented or (when prevention did not work) managed, as well as the importance of properly dealing with the aftermath of these incidents.

We expect governments at all levels of society (from local government to EU, from local police to international organizations) to prevent citizens from these threats. If a threat materializes, we expect governmental elites to manage the crisis. In the aftermath of critical breakdowns, we expect governments to investigate what went wrong and to make sure it will never happen again. All these activities fall within the category of safety, security and crisis management.

This specialization is organized around two dimensions. First, the courses explore the dynamics of crisis and safety. More specifically, we look into the causes of safety and breakdown, the process of escalation that marks crisis episodes and the return to a new state of order after a crisis. Second, we explore the pitfalls and possibilities of crisis and safety management. We consider common pathologies and ‘best practices’. We study why some sectors and societies are safer than others, and why some response systems manage crises better than others.

Core Courses

The five core courses are mandatory for all Public Administration students. Only the core course Research Design is offered twice per year.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Core Course: Research Design 5
Core Course: State of the Art - Public Institutions 5
Core course: State of the Art - Public Policy 5
Core course: State of the Art - Public Management 5
Core course: State of the Art - Public Values 5
Master Thesis Public Administration 20

Specialisation Courses

The electives of the Track Crisis and Security Management are missing information on course content and schedules. As soon as schedules, content and information on teacher(s) is available it will be published. Our aim is to have this information published before or on September 1st. Please keep an eye on this website for the latest developments.

Each student has to take three specialisation courses. Two courses have to be a specialisation course from the choosen track. The third course could either be a specialisation course on the track or a course from one of the other tracks of Public Administration. Keep in mind that students within a specific track have priority over other students (when registred on time).

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Radicalism, extremism & responses 5
Comparing theory and practice: Terrorism & Counter Terrorism in Europe 5
Hate crime and security 5
Peacebuilding After Conflict 5
Communicating Crisis: The Study of Crisis Communication 5

Practical Information

In order to graduate every student has to participate in these courses:
-Research Design (5.0 ECTS)
-State of the Art-Public Institutions (5.0 ECTS)
-State of the Art-Public Policy (5.0 ECTS)
-State of the Art-Public Management (5.0 ECTS)
-State of the Art-Public Values (5.0 ECTS)
-Thesis (20.0 ECTS)
-Specialisation course 1 (5.0 ECTS)
-Specialisation course 2 (5.0 ECTS)
-Elective course (5.0 ECTS) (either a specialisation course on the track or a course from one of the other tracks of Public Administration)

Semester 1, block 1 Semester 1, block 2 Semester 2, block 3 Semester 2, block 4 Public Policy* Spec. course 1 Public Policy* Spec. course 3 Public Values* Spec. course 2 Public Institutions* Thesis (finish) Research Design Thesis (start) Thesis (continue) Thesis (finish) (*) State of the Art course