Newsletter 56

VOL. 16, N°. 56, APRIL 2015 – AUGUST 2015


nina_picture Nina Blom Andersen

Dear Members, Colleagues and Followers of the Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network,

I am glad to be able to present to you this 56th DCSCRN Newsletter – the second one in our new format.

Though our network is related to the European Sociological Association (ESA) I believe that the interdisciplinary character, and range of topics that we as members cover, are a crucial part of the identity of the network. I hope that we will continue to be curious and open minded towards the many proliferations that keep appearing in the field all dealing with questions concerning disasters, social crisis and conflicts.

I believe that those of us who work as researchers in relation to universities are probably all having the same experience of the need of extreme specialization within a narrow field without much time and many possibilities to explore new paths and to take new theoretical or methodological perspectives into consideration. The need to stick to once chosen direction is necessary in order to be able to get our research published in journals with very specific profiles.

On the one side, this does of course mean that we are constantly getting more advanced knowledge and insight into much demarcated problems. On the other side, we are not always very good at getting inspiration from other branches within the broad research field actually dealing with problems that are in some way related with the ones we work with ourselves.

I am about to pack my suitcase and leave for the biannual ESA conference in Prague next week. Here I will have the opportunity to get dragged into all the various perspectives of the research field of disaster, conflict and social crisis that will be presented. No matter theoretical approach, topic or methodology it will give me the insights that I rarely have time to search for on a daily basis and it will provide me with new perspectives and insights.

At the Business Meeting of RN08 in Prague I will step down as coordinator for our research network. It has been a great job, I have learned a lot and I have had a great help and support from the Coordinating Committee. Nikos Petropoulos, Susann Ullberg and Antti Silvast have made a particular invaluable support and I have really appreciated their help.

I’ll be around in the future in our network in meetings, conferences and communications, but let me make use of this last opportunity as coordinator to send you my very best wishes and hope that our interdisciplinary research field will grow stronger in the future.

Nina Blom Andersen, DCSCRN Coordinator


Antti Antti Silvast

Welcome to the August edition of the DCSCRN Newsletter, which covers the period April 2015 – August 2015.

This newsletter issue goes out just before the 12th ESA Conference starts in Prague. With this in view, we have included the final programme of the DCSCRN sessions as it stands now in the Announcements section. If you prefer a single source for printing, the programme is also available on a stand-alone page. I look forward to meeting you and hearing your interesting and interdisciplinary presentations.

While our European sociology event looms close, the International Sociological Association provides another gathering in Vienna next summer. Once again, many of the proposed panels are concerned with the sociology of disasters. We encourage you to look at the Announcements for the names of the panels and wish many of you submit an abstract before the deadline of 30 September 2015.

In addition to the usual announcements and reports, this issue includes an obituary written for the late professor Joe Scanlon by Nicholas Petropoulos. Please scroll to our members section to read more about Professor Scanlon’s long career and research work and their close relation to our network and its topics and themes. In the Writer’s Corner, Charles Woolfson shares photographs of public demonstrations and insights into the Sewol ferry disaster that struck in South Korea in 2014.

It is time to end with news about this editorship. I started editing the DCSCRN newsletter as a PhD student in 2010. After two and a half terms of highly interesting work and friendly interactions with many of you, it is my turn to step down and offer someone else the chance to do this work. I can very much recommend it, as while it takes some time, it poses good opportunities to learn about new research and meet scholars all around the world. My deepest thanks goes to all of our readers and members for allowing me in this task for so long and all your input. I am grateful to the Coordinating Committee current and past members, especially Susann Baez Ullberg – who originally suggested I apply for this job – Nikos Petropoulos, Nina Blom Andersen, Barbara Lucini, and Ilan Kelman for this collaboration. I wish the next editor, whom we seek in the Business Meeting in Prague, the best of luck with furthering the long legacy of the DCSCRN newsletter, currently more than 15 years old. Nevertheless, my research continues now in a second postdoctoral post and I am certain that I will see all of you in future events by this network.


Antti Silvast, DCSCRN newsletter editor


Please join me in welcoming the following new DCSCRN members:

  • Kamal Ahmed, Ph.D. Candidate in Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori, Italy.

As of August 2015, the DCSCRN has 271 members of who 40 are paying ESA members. The up-to-date list of all members is available at


Launch of disaster resilience education and research roadmap for Europe 2030

A disaster resilience education and research roadmap for Europe 2030 has been launched. This roadmap represents an important output of the ANDROID disaster resilience network, bringing together existing literature in the field, as well as the results of various analysis and study projects undertaken by project partners.

The roadmap sets out five key challenges and opportunities in moving from 2015 to 2030 and aimed at addressing the challenges of the recently announced Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The roadmap can be downloaded from:

This roadmap was developed as part of the ANDROID Disaster Resilience Network, led by Professor Richard Haigh of the Global Disaster Resilience Centre ( at the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield, UK. The ANDROID consortium of applied, human, social and natural scientists, supported by international organisations and a stakeholder board, worked together to map the field in disaster resilience education, pool their results and findings, develop interdisciplinary explanations, develop capacity, move forward innovative education agendas, discuss methods, and inform policy development. Further information on ANDROID Disaster Resilience network is available at:

Jörgen Sparf (

Joe Scanlon’s legacy will be a challenge for us

My first contact with Joe was during his term (1994-1998) as President of the ISA Research Committee on Disasters (RC-39). It coincided with the time I was trying to establish the cross-disciplinary Emergencies Research Center (ERC) of Athens, a non-profit research and consulting organization. Its purpose was to promote integrated disaster management in Greece. So I had been notifying colleagues and disaster centers abroad about its existence and purpose. I received a letter from Joe, dated April 9, 1996 and signed in his capacity as Director of the Emergency Communications Research Unit of Carleton University. Joe closed his letter as follows: “I read your notes with interest and wish I was a bit closer and could be of more help, but please keep me informed. I am anxious that RC-39 supports your activity”.

He also expressed his willingness to attend a meeting in Athens when ERC was in a position to organize it. Four years later (2000), ERC did organize a meeting for him with the staff of the new General Secretariat for Civil Protection. Joe eagerly accepted the challenge, and the invitation to contribute to the furtherance of integrated civil protection, without making any demands for compensation, except that I put him up for couple nights. I was more than glad to accommodate him. After I briefed him on Greek civil protection organization and his target audience, we exchanged notes on our “primary” relations, with Joe talking proudly about his Greek relatives in Canada, as well as about his children and grandchildren. Next day, he spoke to the staff of the Secretariat for Civil Protection and to other public servants (firemen, policemen etc.) also involved in civil protection. The topic was “Basic Principles in the Response and Management of Major Disasters” – very apropos for a new civil protection agency. Following the introductory remarks, Joe replied to practical questions confronting the Greek civil protection workers. During the evening, the ERC partners continued the chatting with Joe at a local Greek tavern.

Lecture-Seminar by Joe Scanlon at the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, Athens, Greece, 8/11/2000

Joe started his professional career as a journalist, working as an investigative reporter for the “Toronto Star”. In the early 1960s he started teaching at Carleton University, the Department of Journalism and Communication, on a temporary basis. This eventually culminated in his becoming Professor and Director of the School of Journalism and Communication. Among his students, he had the reputation of being tough and exacting, to the point that the students who had gone through his courses felt as “survivors.” Nonetheless, in the long-run they appreciated his approach to teaching, as it provided them with the necessary skills for the demanding profession of journalism in the real world.

I cannot answer the question at what point in his professional career Joe made a transition from journalism to mass emergencies and disasters. Was it a “conversion” or a “smooth transition” from his current interests? I have several working hypotheses. Perhaps it was a natural sequel of experiences with mass Canadian disasters (e.g. ice storms, blackouts, chemical accidents, etc.) which usually lead to a breakdown of communications that compelled him to add “emergency” and “crisis” communication in his scholarly and research repertory. Perhaps, it was the frequent visits and exchanges he made with the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, for which crisis communication was a significant variable in disaster impact and mitigation. Although I think the most parsimonious explanation is the first, most likely it was a combination of all these factors. It remains an open sociology of knowledge question. In any case, Joe developed a systematic interest in emergency communication, both formal (e.g. emergency plan, warning etc) and informal (e.g. rumor) that is endemic in communities confronting mass emergencies. This interest took institutional form as Joe became the founder and the first director of the “Emergency Communications Research Unit” of Carleton University, for the more systematic scientific study of communication in various disaster events (e.g. industrial fires, tornadoes, ice storms, electrical blackouts, chemical accidents, air accidents, terrorism and hostage situations, subway explosions).

Although Joe’s scholarly and research interests had as a main focus communication during mass emergencies, his interests also included many other social dimensions of disasters, including, among others, the gender dimension, the role of first responders, convergence and mass evacuation processes, management of mass casualties, the role of local government in disasters, the politics of mass deaths, folk songs in mass casualty incidents(1), disaster/mass emergency planning and training of emergency personnel. In his Athens visit, he cautioned the audience about the increasing risks of industrial/chemical/nuclear accidents (leaks) in the third millennium and the need for societies and communities to take preventive measures.

As Josh Greenberg, the current director of the “School of Journalism and Communication” of Carleton, says, Joe “… was a prolific scholar whose expertise in emergency management and communication had been cultivated over 40 years of active research and writing, in which he contributed several hundred articles, chapters, books or monographs”. In 2002, Joe received the Charles E. Fritz Award from the International Research Committee for Disasters (IRCD) for his many years of scholarly and professional service.

Joe was not one to compartmentalize theory, research and practice. Aside from his scholarly work and research Joe was also active in consultation work. In fact, he had set up the Scanlon Associates, Inc. of which he became president. He did consulting for federal governments, private corporations, and NGOs (Canada and abroad) on matters pertaining to mass emergencies and disasters planning and mitigation.

For Joe, the formal retirement made no difference in his level of professional and scholarly activity. He was as active afterwards as he was before his retirement, in all domains of professional activity: student advising, researching, lecturing, consulting and especially conference organization and participation.

In regard to the latter, Joe was primarily responsible for the smooth organization and coordination of IRCD sessions for the World Congresses of Sociology in Durban (2006) and Gothenburg (2010). I remember especially his exhortations to RC-39 members to pay their ISA subscription dues in order to have more sessions allotted to our committee (IRCD) during the World Congress of Sociology. Joe, as a WCS convenor also had excellent cooperation with regional organizations, including the European Sociology Association and the “Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Network”. He strongly urged them to propose and organize sessions at the WCS, thus reinforcing comparative studies and at the same time strengthening networking among sociologists from all world regions.

Joe Scanlon, with his  partner Kathleen (to his right)  and colleagues, during a break at the 16th World Congress of Sociology, 23-29 July 2006, Durban, South Africa.

Joe did not only encourage the regional associations to organize sessions and participate in the World Congresses of Sociology. He himself was also an active participant (as chair and/or a presenter) in the conferences organized by the regional associations themselves, including the ESA conference in Torun, Poland (2005) In this way, Joe added value to the credibility and contributed to the further growth of the “Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network” of the European Sociological Association. For that, we are forever grateful to him.

Whether at the World Congress of Sociology or the European Sociological Association conferences, whether as a chair, as a presenter or a discussant, Joe proved an unsurpassable raconteur. His capacity to recall comparable case studies or historical incidents and to reproduce them in live detail was remarkable. He captivated his audiences and motivated them to engage in further study and exploration.

In the ESA conference held in Torun, Joe stood out both as a scientist and as a master of the local dances. During the cultural program, I saw him rushing to the dance floor to join the professional polka dancers. I stood by watching him hopping about with his young polish partner, and I really marveled at how he managed to keep up the fast pace. Joe was not only a practitioner of comprehensive disaster management, he was also a well-integrated personality, a necessary ingredient for resilience and longevity.

Joe making his presentation at  a DCSCRN session as the chair (Phillip Buckle) looks on,  7th ESA Conference,  9-13 September 2005 Torun Poland

Joe, dancing Polka, 7th ESA Conference, 9-13 September 2005, Torun, Poland

When I heard about Joe’s death this past spring, I could not believe it, as I had other expectations. Unfortunately, it happened. And it happened at Kingston, Ontario (Saturday, May 2, 2015) when he was attending the Carleton Spring Conference – an annual event that he always attended. In a sense, Joe died on the ramparts, on the frontline; live, alert and becoming of a man full of professional, social and personal action.

Joe is survived by his longtime partner Kathleen Quinn, his five children (David, Lucie, Leslie, Meagan and Amy) and his nine grandchildren, scattered all over the world. Our deepest condolences to all of them. Joe’s departure will leave a great vacuum for his family but also for all of us of the ESA “Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network” who knew him, worked with him, learned from him and enjoyed the live chats with him. HIs legacy will be a challenge for us.

Nikos Petropoulos (
Athens, Greece


(1) Popular culture of disasters, following E.L. Quarantelli’s call for systematic studies.


Books, articles, and recent studies by DCSCRN members and colleagues.

Orhan, Ezgi (2015) “Lessons Learned from Businesses to Ensure Community Level Recovery in a Postdisaster Period: Case from Adapazari, Turkey”, Natural Hazards Review

This study argues that businesses, as principal units of both the economy and the urban environment, show different performances in the postdisaster period that in turn affect the community-level recovery. To this end, the paper examines the long-term recovery process of businesses through empirical research in Adapazari, Turkey, which was greatly challenged by the 1999 earthquake. A total of 232 respondent firms there were selected through stratified random sampling. Data were gathered via questionnaire designed to identify the factors that determined their success during the recovery process. It is hypothesized that the recovery performance of businesses is affected by a number of factors that are categorized thus: internal factors, response capacity, and the extent of damage within the business recovery model. The findings of the study indicate that business recovery is associated positively with operating in the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector, but negatively correlated with operating in the trade and service sectors, and with variables expressing the states of being financially in trouble and taking more damage. A policy frame is provided for the integration of business recovery into community recovery by focusing on the predictors of business vulnerability and loss.

To read the full paper, please follow this link. 

Ezgi Orhan (


The Sewol Ferry Disaster – One Year On

By Charles Woolfson (

On 16 April 2014 the MV Sewol ferry sank off the coast of South Korea. There were over 450 persons on board the aging vessel which was bought from the Japanese and had been modified by the addition of extra floors and cabin space. Some 250 of the victims were school students from Danwon High School accompanied by their teachers on a four-day field trip to the beautiful holiday island of Jeju. Jeju itself has a dark past as the scene of a brutally suppressed peasant rebellion in 1948, during which time tens of thousands of local inhabitants were massacred by government and right-wing forces. When the Sewol began taking in water and tilting dangerously, passengers were ordered to stay in their cabins where they subsequently drowned. The captain and most of the crew abandoned ship. Some 150 or so did manage to escape by jumping overboard as the vessel sank. Recordings made by the young victims on their cell phones as their cabins filled with water make harrowing testimony. The plight of the vessel was communicated by one of the school students, but rescue services proved woefully unable to organize effective action. The responsible safety regulators appear to have turned a blind eye (or worse) to key violations of regulations. In addition, the vessel was dangerously overloaded with cargo, and was being piloted by crew employed on short-term or temporary contracts (a growing feature of South Korean labour). At the helm was the vessel’s Third Officer who made the fateful manoeuvre that resulted in the vessel’s capsize. Perceived lack of government response and willingness to interrogate the underlying causes of the disaster has fuelled the grief and anger of victims’ parents and relatives. Public demonstrations have been met with hostility and vigorous police reaction. While in Seoul during April 2015 I witnessed one such commemorative demonstration of the first anniversary of the disaster and here are a few photographs. They sadly speak for themselves. Yet many unanswered questions that go to the core of the efficacy of the regulation of public safety, disaster response preparedness, corporate accountability and labour relations in South Korea today remain. In almost every respect, this was a disaster waiting to happen. Whether the lessons will be learned appears to be quite another matter.

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European Sociological Association (ESA), 12th Conference, Prague, 25-28 August 2015


The ESA RN08, Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network (DCSCRN), is publishing here the final programme of the sessions that we will organise at the upcoming ESA conference. This includes 11 paper sessions, 8 of which are themed and 3 open sessions. In addition, two of our network members will host a semiplenary session with the speakers Professor Paul N. Edwards (University of Michigan) and Professor Robin Williams (University of Edinburgh). All paper givers and titles registered to the sessions and the detailed description of the semiplenary session are copied below. The abstracts for the paper presentations are online in the conference site, kindly see

With such a large event, please note that the schedule is always open to change. We encourage you follow the online programme in to find the most recent, up-to-date programme.

A stand-alone version of the programme has been prepared to help printing it.

The DCSCRN very much look forward to welcoming you to our sessions in Prague!

If you have any more questions please contact the coordinator, Nina Blom Andersen (, and the vice coordinator, Antti Silvast ( More information is available on the European Sociological Association conference website.

12th ESA Conference, RN08: DCSCRN schedule

RN08S02a / Post-disaster Recovery: Understanding Social Relationships in the ‘New Normal’ – A

26th Wednesday, 11:00 – 12:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chair: Twigg, John David (University College London)

  • Drolet, Julie (University of Calgary, Canada),
    Rebuilding lives post-disaster: An international partnership
  • Twigg, John David (University College London, United Kingdom),
    Understanding social relationships in the ‘new normal’: an introduction to unanswered questions
  • Brandao, Filipa Joao da Cruz (University of Bristol, United Kingdom),
    The discursive politics of recovery

RN08S07a / Social Inequalities, Demographic Diversity and the Well-being of Families in Europe in the Context of the Economic Crisis: Patterns and Common Challenges – A

26th Wednesday, 11:00 – 12:30, FA Krejcar 111
Chairs: Tsiganou, Joanna (Ekke, Athens, Greece) & Balourdos, Dionyssis (National Centre for Social Research)

  • Sarris, Nikos (National Centre for Social Research, Greece),
    Social inequalities in Greece under the impact of the economic crisis. Challenges for the adoption a new European Social Model
  • Iliou, Katerina (National Centre for Social Research, Greece),
    In-group affiliation as a strategy to cope with employment opportunities: Selfemployed Roma and Muslim immigrants in Greece
  • Balourdos, Dionyssis (National Centre for Social Research, Greece),
    Demography and poverty: How Europe’s changing population will impact on poverty
  • Petraki, Maria (University of Athens, Greece),
    Demographic characteristics of poverty in Athens Municipality

RN08S02b / Post-disaster Recovery: Understanding Social Relationships in the ‘New Normal’ – B

26th Wednesday, 14:00 – 15:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chair: Twigg, John David (University College London)

  • Meskinazarian, Ahoura (PhD King’s College London, United Kingdom),
    Institutional changes during the reconstruction of Bam after the earthquake of 2003
  • Yusupov, Musa Movlievich (Chechen State University, Russian Federation),
    Social reconstruction of post conflict region: on the example of Kosovo and Chechen Republic
  • Volkova, Alla (Central European University, Hungary),
    The dialectics of Resilience: Examining the Trajectories of Recovery through the Spatial Experiences of the 2010 Chilean Earthquake and Tsunami

RN08S07b / Social Inequalities, Demographic Diversity and the Well-being of Families in Europe in the Context of the Economic Crisis: Patterns and Common Challenges – B

26th Wednesday, 16:00 – 17:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chairs: Balourdos, Dionyssis (National Centre for Social Research) & Tsiganou, Joanna (Ekke, Athens, Greece)

  • Jelenfi, Gábor (MTA-ELTE Peripato Comparative Social Dynamics Research Group, Hungary),
    Hajdu, Gábor (Intitute for Sociology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences,
    Hungary; MTA-ELTE Peripato Comparative Social Dynamics Research
    Group, Hungary),
    Perceived impact of economic crisis in Hungary: social and economic
    differences and inequalities
  • Kaminioti, Olympia (National Institute of Labour and Human Resources, Greece),
    Kondyli, Dimitra (National Centre for Social Research, Greece),
    Assessing social vulnerabilities under the current socioeconomic conjecture: quantitative and qualitative findings in health and labour market status across the EU and within Greece
  • Chalari, Athanasia (University of Worcester, United Kingdom),
    The Subjective Experiences of Three Generations during the Greek Economic Crisis

RN08S01a / General Session – A

26th Wednesday, 18:00 – 19:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chair: Silvast, Antti (University of Edinburgh)

  • Lorenz, Daniel F. (Disaster Research Unit (DRU), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Schulze, Katja (Disaster Research Unit (DRU), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Voss, Martin (Disaster Research Unit (DRU), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Exploring Disaster Myths by Contrasting Expectations of Different Stakeholders
  • Andersen, Nina Blom (Roskilde University, Denmark),
    Analyzing disaster communication processes – complementarities and tensions in the theoretical field
  • Wilkinson, Olivia Justine (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland),
    Exploring differences between the secular and religious in the international humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines: the perspectives of national and local staff members
  • Danielsson, Erna (Mid Sweden University, Sweden),
    Johansson, Roine (Mid Sweden University, Sweden),
    Inter-professional encounters in crisis situations
  • Guichard, Eduardo (Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability, University of Geneva),
    Martenot, Aude (Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability, University of Geneva; Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva; Institute of Socioeconomics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Geneva),
    Natural disasters in two emerging countries: remembering socio-historical
    episodes of collective vulnerability

RN08BM / Business Meeting

26th Wednesday, 19:30 – 20:30, FA Kotěra 105

RN08S03 / Sociological Imagination, Inequalities and Disaster Resilience: Which Future Connection for a Resilient Society?

27th Thursday, 11:00 – 12:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chair: Lucini, Barbara (Catholic University of Sacred Heart)

  • Mikulan, Janja (School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia),
    Djordjević, Jasna (Independent Consultant in the field of Humanitarian
    Assistance, Slovenia),
    Natural disasters as “un-natural” ones. Measuring social vulnerability to
    natural disasters in Slovenia: case study of 2014 floods.
  • Voss, Martin (Free University Berlin, Germany),
    Seidelsohn, Kristina (Free University Berlin, Germany),
    Krüger, Daniela (Free University Berlin, Germany),
    Subjective Vulnerability and the discursive production of (un-)safety in Urban Spaces
  • Grinda, Christiane (University of Bonn & Cologne University of Applied
    Sciences, Germany),
    Imagining and negotiating disaster risks and resilience
  • Kalaycioğlu, Sibel (Middle East Technical University, Turkey),
    Vulnerability and Gender Before and After the disasters: Comparing Experiences From Two Turkish Earthquakes
  • Volterrani, Andrea (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy),
    Wardenga, Paul (Samaritan International, Deutschland),
    Leimegger, Markus (White Cross, Bozen, Italy),
    Dugoni, Aurelio (Anpas, Italy),
    How to build the prevention for the elderly and disabled before of natural disasters. The added social value of voluntary organizations in Europe

RN08S04 / Infrastructures of Preparedness: Conceptual Issues, Empirical Openings

27th Thursday, 14:00 – 15:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chairs: Silvast, Antti (University of Edinburgh) & Lehtonen, Turo-Kimmo (University of Tampere)

  • Ómarsdóttir, Ingibjörg Lilja (University of Iceland, Iceland),
    Eydal, Gudny Björk (University of Iceland, Iceland),
    Social Services in times of disasters – The case of Iceland
  • Güiza, Frida (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico),
    Politics of Difference.Sociopolitical Issues Disguised as Natural
    Disasters in a Middle Size City in Mexico
  • Santiago, Elvira (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain),
    Pavone, Vincenzo (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain),
    Degli Esposti, Sara (ISMS Forum),
    How could the implementation of Surveillance Oriented Security
    Technologies increase personal and national security while preserving and
    fostering indivual liberty? Insights from SurPrise Project

RN08S05 / Energy Resilience Politics

27th Thursday, 16:00 – 17:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chairs: Silvast, Antti (University of Edinburgh) & Lucini, Barbara (Catholic University of Sacred Heart)

  • Heidenstrøm, Nina (National Institute for Consumer Research, Norway),
    Storm-Mathisen, Ardis (National Institute for Consumer Research,
    A network approach to households’ role in electricity and ICT breakdowns
  • Silvast, Antti (University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK),
    Security and Risk in a Liberalized Electricity Infrastructure: Does
    Competition Compromise Resilience?
  • Petropoulou, Eugenia (University of Crete, Department of Sociology,
    Petousi, Vasiliki (University of Crete, Department of Sociology, Greece),
    Iliopoulos, Costas (Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Greece),
    Theodorakopoulou, Irini (Agricultural Economics Research Institute,
    Biomass crop production in Greece: Constraints and future recommendations

RN08S06 / Too Little or Too Much as a Leading Cause of ‘Natural’ Disasters

28th Friday, 11:00 – 12:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chairs: Petropoulos, Nicholas (Organization of Retirees (ORE)) & Andersen, Nina Blom (Roskilde University)

  • Lucini, Barbara (Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy),
    Exploring too much water related to community resilience: two Italian case studies. Sardinia flooding in November 2013 and Genoa flooding in October 2014
  • Dittmer, Cordul (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Bledau, Lena (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Voss, Martin (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    The „Himalayan Tsunami“: Disasters and Catastrophes as a result of
  • Lewandowski, Jakub (Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment,
    van Rijswick, Marleen (Utrecht University School of Law, Netherlands),
    Levy, Lisa (University Francois Rebelais of Tours, France),
    Gilissen, Herman Kasper (Utrecht University School of Law, Netherlands),
    Beyers, Jean-Christophe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium),
    Matczak, Piotr (Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Poland;
    Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland),
    Choryński, Adam (Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Poland),
    From reactive spatial planning to… what? Comparative analysis between
    Belgium, France, Netherlands and Poland
  • Soltesova, Katarina (University College London, United Kingdom),
    Institutional fragmentation and continuity in the context of periodic urban

RN08S01b / General Session – B

28th Friday, 14:00 – 15:30, FA Kotěra 105
Chair: Andersen, Nina Blom (Roskilde University)

  • Sultana, Zakia (Khulna University, Bangladesh),
    Mallick, Bishawjit (Vanderbilt University, TN, USA),
    How do religion and socio-spatial conditions affect adaption process to
    climate change? Empirical evidence from southwest coastal Bangladesh
  • Butler, Andrew (Swedish Univerity of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden),
    Sarlöv Herlin, Ingrid (Swedish Univerity of Agricultural Sciences,
    Knez, Igor (Högskolan i Gävle),
    Ångman, Elin (Swedish Univerity of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden),
    Sang, Åsa (Swedish Univerity of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden),
    Åkerskog, Ann (Swedish Univerity of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden),
    Landscape up in smoke
  • Kox, Thomas (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Requirements for severe weather warnings for civil protection and
    emergency management authorities
  • Schulze, Katja (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Lorenz, Daniel (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Voss, Martin (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany),
    Effects of Disaster Types and Lifestyle on Expected Information Seeking Behavior in Disasters
  • Acar, Zeynep Selin (Ege University, Turkey),
    Günal, Altug (Ege University, Turkey),
    Is post intervention process in Kosovo a success story?

RN08S01c / General Session – C

28th Friday, 16:00 – 17:30, FA Kotìra 105
Chair: Andersen, Nina Blom (Roskilde University)

  • Kotišová, Johana (Masaryk University, Czech Republic),
    Media Construction of Crisis: A Conceptual Framework
  • Tóth, Péter (Széchenyi István University, Hungary),
    Differences in Conflict Perception Among Certain Sociodemographic Groups in Hungary
  • Tsiganou, Joanna (EKKE, Athens, Greece),
    Thanopoulou, Maria (EKKE, Athens, Greece),
    ‘Disaster’ in political discourse: New ways in the exercise
    of power in Greece under crisis.

Semiplenary Session

SPS09 / Modeling Uncertainties, Producing Differences

28th Friday, 09:00 – 10:30, FA Kotìra 105
Chair: Silvast, Antti (University of Edinburgh)

Robin Williams: The New Knowledge Infrastructures of the Turbulent Technology Market

New knowledge infrastructures have emerged to tackle market uncertainties. Would-be adopters seeking to differentiate competing vendor claims in the burgeoning Information Technology (IT) market cannot determine product properties and appropriateness by inspection. To exercise due diligence over multi-million pound procurements that will affect their performance for many years to come, adopters therefore turn to industry analysts who have built up extensive knowledge networks and methodologies and skills to tap user experience of existing products and pick up signals about shifts. Industry leader, Gartner Inc., in its signature output the Magic Quadrant, ranks vendors in terms of seemingly un-measurable properties: ‘completeness of vision’ and ‘ability to execute’. Gartner needs to be able to defend its assessments which have huge impact on the operation of the IT market.

How did this new form of expertise emerge? How is industry analyst knowledge produced and consumed – and in the process legitimated with various internal and external audiences and subjected to various forms of verification and test. Here we explore striking differences between industry analysts and other groups producing future-oriented knowledge in contexts of uncertainty, for example weather men (Fine 2006) or financial analysts (Knorr-Cetina 2011). We can relate these to the different exigencies – and temporalities -– through which knowledge is produced, consumed and validated. Rather than treat this knowledge as performative we need to examine how it is performed and achieves influence.

Biography: Robin Williams is Professor of Social Research on Technology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) at the University of Edinburgh. He ran the Edinburgh PICT Centre under the ESRC Programme on Information and Communications Technologies (1987–95). Building on this he developed an interdisciplinary research programme on ‘the social shaping of technology’ which culminated in the formation of ISSTI in 2000. His personal research has focused upon the development and implementation of a range of Information Technology systems and Infrastructures. Recent outputs include two co-authored books with Neil Pollock: How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future (2016, Oxford University Press) and
Software and Organisation (2009 Routledge). He also coedited three special editions of the Journal of the Association of Information Systems on the topic of information infrastructures (Vol. 10, No. 5, 2009 on e-infrastructures [eds Edwards et al.,] and Vol. 10 Nos. 4 and 5, 2014 on Innovation in Information Infrastructures).

Paul N. Edwards: Time and Risk in Climate Knowledge: An Infrastructure Perspective

How does the time of infrastructure, including knowledge infrastructure, play into the time(s) of risk? Climate science focuses on temporal frames of decades to centuries, but individuals’ perception of climate change varies with the current state of weather – a temporal frame of days to weeks. Meanwhile, policymakers focus on a medium term of months to years, driven by election cycles and current events. The complex interactions among scientific understandings of risk, public perceptions, and the framing of policy choices are an old theme in the sociology of knowledge. The slow catastrophe of climate change brings these interactions into sharp focus. This talk will investigate these interactions through the lens of “knowledge infrastructures”: robust networks of people, devices, and institutions that generate, maintain, and iterate specific knowledge of the human and natural worlds (examples include national census bureaus, global disease tracking systems, weather forecasting, and climate science). It will explore such issues as the framing of longterm, gradually increasing risks (climate change) vs. short-term, catastrophic risks (nuclear meltdowns, hurricanes); the problem of projection (long term) vs. prediction (short term); and uncertainty in historical data vs. uncertainty in simulated futures.

Biography: Paul N. Edwards is Professor of Information and History at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the history, politics, and culture of information technologies and infrastructures. Edwards is the author of A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010), a history of the weather and climate knowledge infrastructures, and The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (MIT Press, 1996), a study of the mutual shaping of computers, military culture, and the cognitive sciences from 1945–1990. He is also co-editor of Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (MIT Press, 2001). Before joining the University of Michigan, Edwards taught at Stanford University and Cornell University. The working title of his current research project is “Knowledge Infrastructures for the Anthropocene.”

Third International Sociological Association (ISA) Forum of Sociology, 10-14 July 2106, Vienna, Austria, Research Committee 39 on Sociology of Disasters

The Third ISA Forum will be convened in Vienna, Austria, 10-14 July 2016 on the theme “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World.” This theme encourages a forward-orientation in empirical, theoretical, and normative research to tackle the problems and opportunities that often cut across borders.

We would now like to draw your attention to the sessions proposed by the Research Committee 39 on Sociology of Disasters in this conference. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 September 2015. A detailed description of all sessions is available in

Please visit the conference web site,, for more information. For questions about the sessions, the emails of the program coordinators and the session organizers have been copied below.

Program Coordinators

  • Andrea LAMPIS, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia,
  • Michele COMPANION, University of Colorado, USA,

Proposed sessions

  1. “Climate Change and Adaptation” by Sudha ARLIKATTI, University of North Texas, USA,
  2. “Compensation and Culpability: Regulatory and Legal Challenges of Disasters” by Susan STERETT, Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, USA,
  3. “Epidemics and Pharmaceuticals: The Medicalization of Disaster Response” by Mark KAMMERBAUER, Technische Hochschule Nürnberg, Germany,
  4. “Gender and Disasters: The Importance of Incorporating Feminist and Masculinities Lenses” by DeMond MILLER, Rowan University, USA,
  5. “Indigenous, Rural and Traditional Forms of Knowledge: Incorporating Cultural Difference into Discussions of Climate Change, Adaptation, Mitigation, and Cultural Diversity” by Shirley LASKA, Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology, University of New Orleans, USA,
  6. “Lessons Learned: Success, Failures, and Government Accountability in Disaster Mitigation and Response” by Andrea LAMPIS, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia,
  7. “Local Social Services in Times of Disasters and Crisis” by Carin BJORNGREN-CUADRA, University of Lund, Sweden, and Gudny Bjoerk EYDAL, Iceland University, Iceland,
  8. “Political Economy of Disasters” by Lee MILLER, Sam Houston State University, USA,
  9. “Preparedness, Response, and Mitigation” by Benigno AGUIRRE, University of Delaware, USA,
  10. “Rural Challenges for Disaster Preparedness and Response” by James KENDRA, University of Delaware, USA,
  11. “The Impact of Disasters on Cultural and Livelihood Survival and Material Goods” by Michele COMPANION, University of Colorado, USA,
  12. “Urban Vulnerabilities and Resilience” by Andrea LAMPIS, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia,
  13. “Words Matter: The Impact of Different Stakeholder Understandings of Disaster Concepts on Policy Creation, Enactment, and Local Communities” by Alonso BRENES TORRES, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Costa Rica,


This is the periodic electronic newsletter of the Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network (DCSCRN). The purpose of the DCSCRN is to promote the study, research and analysis of “natural”, “technological” and “social” disasters with a view to contributing to the development of disaster resilient European communities, and preventing or mitigating the human, economic, social, cultural and psychological effects of crises and disasters.

The DCSCRN Electronic Newsletter is published three times a year (April, August, December). The previously published newsletters are accessible at the network’s webpage:

Announcements of conferences, book, film, and CDROM reviews, reportage on conferences, disaster diaries, brief articles on best or worst practices in disaster prevention and recovery, commentaries on disasters and crises, human interest stories relevant to disasters, etc. should be sent electronically to the editor, Antti Silvast ( no later than the first of the month of publication. Contributions to the newsletter should preferably be written in a concise format (½-1 page long maximum) in order to make reading comprehensive albeit focused. Ideas should be referenced (Author, year), but there is no need for a complete reference list.

Relevant contributions from the field of disaster, conflict and crisis research, as well as from applied disaster, conflict and crisis management practice, are most welcome!

All “signed” texts express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the coordinators, the editor or of the DCSCRN.

Nina Blom Andersen, DCSCRN Coordinator
Antti Silvast, DCSCRN Vice Coordinator and E-Newsletter Editor


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