Workshop: Drawing the line: Cross-boundary coordination processes in emergency management

One of the workshops at our CIP Conference 2016 on 1 July 2016 at Antwerp Management School.

When disaster strikes the common perception is that chaos arises and emergency response organizations need to put the situation under control by employing a centralized command structure. Command and Control is the dominant paradigm for many disaster theories and for the response organizations themselves.

However, current studies in disaster sociology have proven this idea of control to be unrealistic. Disasters generally do not end up in chaos. Instead the capabilities of societal and organizational structures remain in place, whilst being put under pressure. The relief effort thus requires coordination and cooperation with different stakeholders in a network of responding organizations.

The study by Jeroen Wolbers reveals that other mechanisms can be more effective than hierarchical and procedural structures in crisis and incident management. In the workshop, we’ll figure out if these findings can be translated to an international perspective by looking how and how far they are relevant for other countries or the international civil protection community.


Dr. Jeroen Wolbers is postdoctoral researcher at VU University Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
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Luc Wassenberg is director and senior advisor at Vigiles (The Netherlands)
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