Risk Management in Crisis Situations
Full course description
Since the middle of the 20th Century, increasingly sophisticated technical models have been developed to manage risks. Yet, no model is flawless and, once in a while, “bad events’’ happen. Controversies have escalated as a result of such failures, from the BSE crisis in the food sector to the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents in the Nuclear field. Major scandals raise questions about public confidence and expectations. In regulatory and Industry circles, the decline of trust in science and government combined with a stronger involvement of stakeholders leads to increasing worries that any event may lead to a full-fudged crisis. Are these worries justified? What could be done to manage crises better? Risk studies bring a crucial insight to tackle crises in a challenging governance environment.
What could be done to manage crises better? How to identify and handle underlying tradeoffs in crises management? Does regulation matter? During this module, students will discuss these aspects (among others) while capitalizing on social-scientific knowledge in crisis situations’ analysis - in contemporary & often post-trust societies. Four critical areas will serve as our focus (among others): (i) nature-induced events, (ii) technological-related disasters (e.g. nuclear, chemical leaks), (iii) health/nutrition risks (e.g. BSE, food crises), and (iv) security risks (e.g. bioterrorism, cyber-crises).
- Risk management in post-trust societies, Earthscan (Löfstedt, 2005).
- The Politics of Precaution. Regulating Health Safety and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press (Vogel, 2012).
- L.F. Krebs
- D.M. Mbuvi