Case Studies of Crises and Disasters

Module code: MN7634

In this module you'll examine in depth a range of case studies involving crises and disasters from different areas which will act as heuristics ‑ vehicles for exploring some of the issues and concepts introduced in previous modules.

Such issues include the impact of personality on crisis and disaster management, the influence of cultural factors and national preferences on crisis and disaster management techniques, and the impact on disaster investigations of paradigmatic interpretations of evidence.

The case studies present data in a way which is typical of research in a variety of social science disciplines such as ethnographic (participant observation) analysis of secondary data sources (e.g. a re-examination of public inquiry findings, police reports, etc.) and interview findings. They also illustrate the relationship between theoretical and methodological orientations and different academic disciplines.

Topics covered

  • Importance of using and analysing case studies
  • Applying theoretical concepts to case studies
  • Isomorphic and ‘active’ learning from past case studies
  • Hindsight
  • Risk perception
  • Decision making theories
  • Incident management processes and procedures
  • Safety culture and organisation theory
  • Socio-technical systems accidents
  • Normal accidents theory
  • Social learning


  • Essay, 4,000 words (100%)