10th Conference of the European Sociological Association

Geneva (Switzerland)

7th-10th September 2011

The DCSCRN is publishing here the available abstracts, full papers and presentations from our sessions in the 10th ESA conference. For more information, please correspond directly with the authors. All papers, presentations and abstracts express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the coordinators or of the web manager of the DCSCRN.

A written report about each session is in our Newsletter no. 45.

Follow this link to find photographs from the sessions.


Convenor: Nicholas Petropoulos (

  1. Segregation: terrorism as a catalyst for structural change (Rickard Sandell)
  2. Social identifications in the face of crisis – the case of Finnish television discussions on 9/11 (Hanna Rautajoki)
  3. Terrorism risk perception and crisis communication planning on food chain security (Irina Stanciugelu)
  4. The Alcora exercise and turbulent relations during nationalist struggles in Portuguese former African colonies: the roots of present day social crisis and uncertainty? (Celso Braga Rosa)


Convenors: John Twigg ( and Maria Kett (

  1. Evaluating physical rehabilitation interventions in post-earthquake Haiti (Myroslava Tataryn)
  2. Disability, invisibility and vulnerability and capacity assessment (John Twigg)
  3. Special needs or civil rights: evacuation and sheltering concerns for the functionally and developmentally impaired (Rochelle Brittingham)
  4. Linking disability and disasters: the next 10 years? (Maria Kett)
  5. Disaster risk reduction strategies and inclusion of persons with disabilities: purposive examples of good practices (Mathieu Simard)


Convenor: Murat Balamir (

  1. Shortcomings of conventional approaches in meeting new DRR objectives (Murat Balamir)
  2. How to improve emergency preparedness on a local level? A theoretical model and empirical illustration (Alex Altshuler)
  3. Review of necessary policies across countries to implement hazard insurance and risk reduction as complementary strategies (Arzu Taylan)
  4. Transfer of concepts of the new international policy for disaster risk reduction: the case of Turkey (Elif Daldeniz)


Convenors: Antti Silvast ( and Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (

  1. Communicating ignorance a precondition for dealing with creeping disasters? (Alena Bleicher)
  2. The classification society rules as memory archive in shipping (Hannu Hänninen)
  3. Remembering risk? Urban flood management in Argentina (Susann Ullberg)
  4. National security threat and its measurement: protecting society’s ’vital infrastructures’ in Finland (Antti Silvast)


Convenors: Antti Silvast ( and Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (

  1. Phronetic skill and risk governance: how does practical wisdom work in new technology risk governance of carbon nanotubes and endocrine disrupting chemicals? (Arho Toikka and Nina Honkela)
  2. Heuristics in risk assessment of complex projects (Martijn Leijten)
  3. The «nature city» as an answer to the city at risk, an epistemological disrupt into planning: the “Grand Paris” case (Adrien Gey)
  4. Risk assessments and handling in a rescue coordination center (Trude Karine Olaug Gjernes)


Convenor: Juan de Dios Ruano (

  1. Social acceptance criteria for refuge ports in Galicia (Spain) (Juan De Dios Ruano)
  2. The media communication of refuge ports in Galicia (Spain) (Ariadna Rodríguez)
  3. Two ways of understanding the sea risk in Spain: Zero risk versus absence of absolute security (Elvira Santiago)


Convenors: Nina Blom Andersen (, Pernille Almlund ( and Laurence Creton-Cazanave (

  1. Agency, structure and social crisis: exploring social relations in two forest-based communities in rural British Columbia, Canada (Wayne Crosby)
  2. Resilience meets reflexivity: anticipating climate change catastrophe (Debra J Davidson)
  3. The distance analysis framework: A new understanding of warning processes (Laurence Créton-Cazanave)
  4. The use of actor-network theory in analysis of social crisis and disasters (Nina Blom Andersen and Pernille Almlund)


Convenors: Nina Blom Andersen (, Pernille Almlund ( and Laurence Creton-Cazanave (

  1. Joint staff for emergency response operations (Erna Danielsson and Roine Johansson)
  2. The order of things and the world order: making psychosocial and environmental sense after disaster (Ludvina Colbeau-Justin)
  3. An innovative theoretical analysis by sociological perspectives in social crisis contemporary context: rethinking phenomenological and symbolic interactionism approaches and their methodological relapses (Barbara Lucini)
  4. Children and resilience in environmental disasters (Jo Moran-Ellis)
  5. Sport and its stories: Youth protagonists in the construction of the social cohesion through sport (Marco Pasini)



The theme of this 10th ESA Conference is ‘Social Relations in Turbulent Times’ – a topic that concerns our research network in particular. Times become turbulent when crises and disasters occur. Such phenomena can be defined as critical events interrupting a determined social order in time and space, as well as social processes that are forged in the past, evolving in the present and shaping the future.

The Coordinating Committee of the Disaster and Social Crisis Research Network (DCSCRN) invites all network members, associated colleagues and all those interested to submit abstracts for any of our sessions outlined. The aim of the sessions is to engage in discussions on relevant theoretical issues that can enhance our understanding of crises and disasters, and to address pressing problems in the field of disaster and crisis management policies and practices. The DCSCRN invites scholars from different disciplines and practitioners from different areas to submit abstracts and share with us their thoughts, research results and experiences. All abstracts will be considered and reviewed by the Coordinating Committee and by the convenor/s of the respective sessions.

Submission of abstracts opens on January 10th, 2011 and closes on March 8th, 2011. The submission is entirely electronic at

If you have questions or problems regarding the abstract submission or the conference in general, please contact the conference organizers. If your concern is a specific DCSCRN session, please contact the session convenor/s (e-mail addresses listed below). If you have questions regarding the DCSCRN, please contact the coordinator

The DCSCRN look forward to read your abstracts and welcome you to our sessions in Geneva!

Proposed Sessions

1. Collective Violence and Non-violence as Alternative Strategies for Social Change – Comparative Perspectives. History is replete with cases, both of violence (e.g. many national independence revolutions, social-ideological revolutions, terrorism) and non-violence (e.g. Gandhian approach to national independence, the Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement), as strategies for social structural changes. This session calls for papers dealing with the effectiveness – in terms of long-term societal institutionalization and internalization of changes – of violent and non-violent strategies for social and structural changes. The papers can focus on any level of comparative social analysis: the local, the organizational, the regional, the societal and the international levels. Convenor: Nicholas Petropoulos (
2. Disability, Society and Disasters. People with disabilities are often particularly vulnerable in times of crisis. Many of the challenges they face at such times are the result of social and institutional factors that influence disaster management: invisibility, marginalisation, exclusion and discrimination. On the other hand, disabled people, their social networks and their organisations have considerable but under-utilised capacities for coping in adversity. Research into all of these issues is still relatively new and the research outputs to date have been limited. This session aims to promote and expand this agenda by exploring the interactions between people with disabilities, communities and formal institutions before, during and after disasters. Convenors: John Twigg ( and Maria Kett (
3. Disasters, Catastrophes and Techniques of Risk. For the last 30 years, there have been two major social scientific research traditions that deal with risks. In the first of these, the concept of risk has pointed to major societal transformations, such as the arrival of a ‘risk society’, ‘climate of risk’ or ‘culture of fear’. In the second tradition, it has been argued that the object of social scientific research is not ‘technical’ or ‘objective’ risks but instead ‘cultural’ risk perceptions. Some more recent studies, however, have gone beyond these two options and have taken a markedly different approach to risk. Instead of assuming a major societal transition or concentrating on ‘risk cultures’, special attention has been paid to concrete risk techniques: to those calculations, propositions and practices that political, economic and scientific actors apply when they try to control and distribute the effects of unwanted events. These multiple risk techniques, it has been claimed, fundamentally shape people’s actions and the scope of possibilities for the contemporary way of life.The proposed session takes the emerging perspective on risk as its starting point, with regards to a specific area of study: disasters and catastrophes. The session welcomes all papers from this intersection, covering topics such as insuring against disasters and catastrophes; the relationship between risk analysis and the protection of critical infrastructures; the ways in which risk techniques have been transformed and shaped by the experiences gained in previous disasters and catastrophes; the routine practices that mitigate disasters and catastrophes in organizations, for example contingency planning and budgeting; the building of new technical infrastructures for disaster and catastrophe reduction, for example ‘smart’ energy grids against climate change or emergency population warning systems against disasters; the risk techniques that ‘enact’ catastrophes, such as computer simulations and crisis exercises; and finally, the tension between controlling unwanted events and to certain extent accepting their inevitability: as this tension is inherent to the concept of risk, how do the risk techniques of disasters and catastrophes solve it, what kind of vulnerabilities can be accepted and why? Convenors: Antti Silvast ( and Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (
4. Impacts and Implications of the New International Policy for Disaster Risk Reduction. The emphasis of UN in ‘risk reduction’ during the recent decade was not confined only to a new discourse, but action with the initiation of UNISDR (2000), the Kobe Conference (2005) and the Hyogo Framework of Action (2005-2015). These were followed by a number of studies published, the formation of the Global Platform (2007), the Incheon Conference (2009) and the ‘Resilient Cities Campaign’ (2010-11). Were it not to coincide with the global crises, the movement would probably have had greater repercussions, wider involvement, and achievements. In many countries disaster risk reduction (DRR) turned to a minor policy issue with little funding for risk research and mitigation. In US, funds allocated for DRR under DMA2000 were transferred to National Security after 9 /11. Authorities in many countries refrained from identifying new responsibilities and new units dedicated to the determination of risks and mitigation planning. In many cases, the conventional post-disaster units were assumed to have the capacity of coping with the tasks of DRR. Shortage of resources for risk mitigation, unclear designations of legal responsibilities, allowing no room for participatory mechanisms gave rise to conflicts in the administrative, professional, and academic circles.To this session we invite papers that discuss related theoretical issues (such as identification and measurement of urban community vulnerabilities/resilience; Medusa and Cassandra dilemmas of authorities in mitigation decisions; participatory vs. representative mechanisms in pre-disaster risk mitigation; dimensions/attributes of resilience in cities as promoted by UNISDR; perception of risk and action of citizens and public authorities), empirical research (on topics such as integration or differentiation of risk management from conventional post-disaster; response activities and expertise; involvement of NGOs and ‘platforms’ in building a system of resilience/mitigation; conventional professional responsibilities and expertise required for risk mitigation; comparative analyses of country responses to the new international policy) or policy discussions (such as comparative implementations of UN recommendations at national and local levels efficient organization of risk mitigation within national administrations; cases of participatory decision-making in risk mitigation planning; funding risk mitigation). Convenor: Murat Balamir (
5. Planning for the Worst-Case Scenario: Policies, Politics and Practices of Disaster Risk Reduction. The process of planning for disaster risk reduction involves an array of problems. Estimating probabilities of intended outcomes, imagining collateral effects and calculating uncertainty are at the core of such processes. Multiple actors and interests set the stage for a complex interplay of competition, coordination and communication. Disaster management planners can be both policy makers and implementers who project risk, operating with temporalities that extend well into those futures both imagined and, at times, experienced. Shaping a field of action, such professionals make assumptions about risk that are shaped by cultural and political understandings about risky people, places and practices, and that forge planning in determined ways. The production of risk reduction planning is thus here taken as a critical cultural practice that give priority to certain risks over others. This session invites papers that address how planning processes for disaster risk reduction are organized and carried out in different settings (from the local and participative approach to more complex bureaucratic settings and to the transnational agencies). At the core of such processes, and of particular interest to this panel, are the politicians and the planners seen as agents of establishing the parameters of risk and of inventing strategies to reduce these. Empirical, theoretical and policy related papers are all of interest to this session in order to discuss disaster risk reduction planning as cultural, political and ethical processes. Convenor: Susann Ullberg (
6. Social Acceptance Criteria for Refuge Ports in Europe. This session’s proposal is focused on group’s experience on collective risk management has developed from the analysis evaluation and suggestion of social criteria which improve the social acceptances of controversial facilities in general and European Refuge Ports in particular. In fact, the 25th of April, 2007 the European Parliament agreed the modification of the directive 2002/59/EC which establish -among other things- that Member States should draw up measures to give refuge to ships is distress in their ports or in any other sheltered areas in order to limit the consequences of accidents at sea. As far as places of refuge is concerned the modification of the directive indicate that Member States should compile previous information about possible sheltered areas on the coast so that in case of accidents or incidents at sea, the proper authorities can point out the most appropriate areas to shelter the ships in distress as quickly as possible. The previous information should include a description of the physical, environmental and social characteristics of the places and the means and facilities available to assist the ships that had an accident or those which are fighting against the consequences of a polluting spillage. So, the importance of social aspects when it comes to determine the shelter areas or ports of refuge in Spain is nowadays one of the biggest problems to apply this Community Directive independently of the political tendencies of the national, regional or local government. In fact the cases of the vessels “Prestige” In November 2002, and “Ostedijk” in February 2007 are two examples of the difficulty to implement the Directive in our country. So, due to the social alarm and the reluctance shown by people from coastal areas to shelter both vessels, it is decided to move these ships in distress further away. This measure was de subject of political, social and media controversy over the decision. Convenor: Juan de Dios Ruano (
7. The Environmental Movement: A Problem or a Solution for the Current Economic Crisis. Generally, there are two theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economic (employment) and environmental concerns. The first approach views the two sectors as contradictory, i.e. investments in environmental measures will increase company costs, retard industrial development, and cause unemployment. In this sense, the current economic/credit crisis may aggravate the contradiction and lead to a marginalization of environmental concerns. Conversely, the second approach views the economy, employment and environmental protection as processes that go hand in hand and maintains that investments in environmental protection could promote sustainable economic development and increase employment. The present session calls for papers that attend to this dilemma and will give priority considerations to papers and practices. Convenor: Nicholas Petropoulos (
8. Theories of Social Relations in Times of Uncertainty: Going Through Existing Theories and Bringing in New Ones. Situations characterised by a high degree of uncertainty are well suited for investigations of theoretical approaches to explain social relations in a society. The research field on disasters and social crisis has dealt with analyses of changes on both micro, meso and macro level in case of crises for several decades, though a debate involving a revision of the dominant thoughts as well as an investigation of new approaches is needed, both on theoretical as well as methodological issues. The question can be posed if the classical sociological theories are at all sufficient to explain the social crises and disasters Europe has faced recently. In this context, STS-related approaches may be, for instance, a substantial contribution, although controversial. A review or a discussion of theories and methodologies that argue for the re-shaping of social relations in case of disasters and social crisis might touch on a number of questions. How do the existing theories approach the notion of social relations? Are accounts on the notions of structures, historical conditions and institutionalisation included or is the main focus on the actors’ agency? And how is the question of knowledge, nature, objects and material threats dealt with? Papers dealing with such, as well as related questions, are welcome at this session. Convenors: Nina Blom Andersen (, Pernille Almlund ( and Laurence Creton-Cazanave (

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