From the management of crisis to the governance of risk:

Time for a paradigm shift?


Haikou city, Hainan province, China

January 9-11, 2017


Sponsored by

Center for Crisis Management Research, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, China

Program on Crisis Leadership, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, USA

China Institute for Reform and Development, China



Conference Co-Chairs

Lan Xue (Tsinghua University, China)

Arnold Howitt (Harvard University, USA)

Fulin Chi (China Institute for Reform and Development, China)

Arjen Boin (Leiden University, the Netherlands)


Since the turn of the 21st century, emergency management systems worldwide have encountered significant challenges. Emergency management capacities of national governments are constantly put to test by natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, as well as manmade accidents and terrorist threats. How to tackle emergencies effectively has become a litmus test of the governing capability in developed and developing countries alike.


Previous research has described the development of emergency management systems in countries such as the US (Sylves 2008, Roberts 2013), Turkey (Unlu, Kapucu et al. 2010), Russia (Porfiriev 2006), Japan, New Zealand, Philippine (Britton 2006), Australia (Britton 1986), and European countries (Boin, Bossong et al. 2014, Christensen, Danielsen et al. 2016). One of the recent trends in the contemporary development of emergency management practice and research is to strengthen pre-crisis prevention/mitigation capacities. In other words, governing risks that may escalate into a crisis has become an essential part of many emergency management systems.


This conference brings together experts from a wide array of countries to further our understanding of the emergency management systems across the world, and will pay special attention to the challenges of managing risk and safety. We welcome papers on the following topics:

l  Challenges of risk regulations in different emergency management systems;

l  The contributions that theories on resilience and high reliability organizations can make on the development of the risk and safety regulation systems;

l  To what extent existing emergency management system can learn lessons from past crises and turn these lessons into risk/safety management practice;

l  The roles the accountability system may play in the lesson-drawing process after crises.


Publication of papers

We aim to bring a collection of papers together in a special issue of a reputed academic journal.


Provisional dates

The following are key dates for the conference:


1.      Confirmation of your participation and Submission of Paper Proposal by e-mail: September 30, 2016

n  Please confirm your participation via this address:

n  Please submit a short proposal to outlining: the title of the paper, a short description of the contents of the paper; the research method and empirical materials to be used (if applicable); and name, affiliation, and contact information.

2.      Notification of acceptance: October 15, 2016

3.      Paper drafts submission: December 15, 2016


Funding opportunities

We offer full conference registration fee waiver and free food to accepted paper authors from the conference budgets.

Visa and local logistic information

If you need assistance for visa application and local logistic information (hotel room price and airport pickup price is available on the conference registration link), please contact Ms. Qing YE (; +86 898 6618 9082). Please provide the following information for creating an invitation letter which supports your visa application:

l  Name,

l  Gender,

l  Position,

l  Affiliated institution,

l  Passport Number.

Conference language



Dr. Xiaoli Lu, Tsinghua University,  phone: +86 10 62773557; cell:+86 130 1126 6290




Tsinghua University’s Center for Crisis Management Research (CCMR)


Founded in 2004, CCMR is a university-based institution for research, education and consultancy committed to the study of crisis management. CCMR has been selected as one of the centers of excellence by Beijing Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science. Graduate researchers from CCMR have gone on to careers at top universities, prominent research and training centers, and government agencies. CCMR’s core faculty members have won key research projects from the National Science Foundation of China, National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health, State Administration of Work Safety, State Council’s Emergency Management Office, and other local agencies. Consultancy reports have been adopted by Premiers, vice premiers, and other leaders. 


This conference is sponsored via the National Science Foundation of China Project (91224009): Integrated Design and Model Reconstruction of Emergency Management System with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era.



Harvard University’s Program on Crisis Leadership


The Program on Crisis Leadership (PCL) seeks to improve society’s capacity to deal with natural disasters; infrastructure, technology, and systems failures; public health emergencies; and terrorism. PCL takes a comprehensive risk management perspective, looking at risk reduction strategies, emergency preparedness and response, and disaster recovery. It conducts research; develops teaching case studies; provides instruction in degree programs and executive education for senior leaders; sponsors conferences and seminar presentations; and works with governments and NGOs to improve their response to the exigencies of severe emergencies.




China Institute for Reform and Development


China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD), established on November 1,1991, is a public research institution focusing on reform and development policy research. CIRD was ranked as the most influential Chinese non-governmental think tank and the 10th Chinese think tanks by comprehensive influence for two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014