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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Cascading Disasters, Institutions and Organizations (CAINO)

Towards resilient organizations, institutions and societies
rescue mission

How can we build disaster-proof societies for the next generations? How do political institutions shape resilience to the cascading effects of disasters? What are the challenges that organizational networks face when coordinating during multiple disasters?

These are only a few of the questions haunting social scientists and disaster management scholars and practitioners in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite decades of research and recommendations on disaster management strategies, this ongoing disaster has not only reflected the vulnerabilities of societies to cascading disasters but it has highlighted the need to better conceptualise the role that political systems and inter-organizational emergency management networks play in shaping resilience to such disasters.

CAINO intends to shed new light on such questions by providing advanced knowledge on the political dimensions of cascading disasters and on the role of emergency management networks. Equipped with this knowledge, participants will be trained in an inter- and transdisciplinary learning environment combining theory, methods and practice into group projects.

Practical information

Dates & location 20 - 24 June 2022, Groningen, the Netherlands



€ 300 (University of Groningen students)
€ 400 (other students)
€ 500 (practitioners)

Academic coordinators

Dr. F. Giardini, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Sociology
Dr. C. Egger, Faculty of Arts, International Relations, International Organization




The summer school is designed for:

  • Excellent MA students willing to either engage in a career as a disaster risk reduction experts or in a PhD on the topic
  • Postgraduate students: PhD – post doc students studying crisis/ disaster management/organizational networks
  • Other external stakeholders: national and local policy-makers (both in civil society organizations and government agencies)

Applicants are expected to have a background in Social Sciences and related disciplines, as well as a good command of the English language (B2/C1) to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  1. Apply inter- and multi-disciplinary knowledge about cascading disasters and societal resilience to them;
  2. Critically reflect on different strategies to strengthen resilience in organizations and institutions;
  3. Apply analytical reasoning to complex disaster situations in order to be able to disentangle their complexity
  4. Propose workable solutions to meet the societal challenges associated with cascading disasters

The summer school will offer a combination of:

  • lectures on theoretical approaches (inter-organizational networks; political institutions and resilience; trust – context, enabling conditions, network structure and mechanisms – agency, structure, incentives) and methods (how do you analyze context with lack of data – network analysis – research design)
  • interactive learning activities with lecturers and practitioners
  • problem-based learning in small groups (group projects on policy problems related to cascading disasters)
  • panel discussions with leading experts in the field
  • Preparation (including reading, approx. 200 pages – the time spent on preparation depends on the students’ background): max 70 hours
  • Contact hours (class and online activities): 25 hours
  • Group projects: 17 hours
  • Total = 112 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the summer school offers a Certificate of Attendance. After successfully completing the assignment, they will receive their Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload in hours hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Speakers Application procedure

To apply, please fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Motivation letter (max. 1 page), incl. a clear explanation of the articulation between this summer school and the participant’s career plan

The deadline for application is 16 May 2022. Selection will be based on the fit between the prospective students’ CVs and motivation and the topic of the school.

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Last modified:03 May 2022 1.45 p.m.