Since 2021 I lead the journal Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy together with fellow editor-in-chief Sanneke Kuipers.

The purpose of Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy (RHCPP) is to provide a forum for research and commentary that examines societies’ understanding of and measures to address risk, hazards, and crises, how public policies do and should address these concerns, and to what effect. The journal is explicitly designed to encourage a broad range of perspectives by integrating work from a variety of disciplines.

Scholarship on risk, hazards, and crises (emergencies, disasters, or public policy/organizational crises) has developed into mature and distinct fields of inquiry. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy (RHCPP) addresses the governance implications of the important questions raised for the respective fields. The relationships between risk, hazards, and crisis raise fundamental questions with broad social science and policy implications. During unstable situations of acute or chronic danger and substantial uncertainty (i.e. a crisis), important and deeply rooted societal institutions, norms, and values come into play.

The journal will look at social science theory and policy design across the spectrum of risks and crises — including natural and technological hazards, public health crises, terrorism, and societal and environmental disasters. Papers will analyze the ways societies deal with both unpredictable and predictable events as public policy questions, which include topics such as crisis governance, loss and liability, emergency response, agenda setting, and the social and cultural contexts in which hazards, risks and crises are perceived and defined.

Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy invites dialogue and is open to new approaches. We seek scholarly work that combines academic quality with practical relevance. We especially welcome authors writing on the governance of risk and crises to submit their manuscripts.

Suitable paper topics would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Research defining and characterizing what counts as a “societal crises.” When does a condition become a crisis? Is the threshold for social crises defined differently in different issue areas (e.g., environmental, economic and health)?
  • How does the structure of the public policy process enhance or impede successful societal anticipation of, and response to, crises? Such inquiry is called for at the international, national, and sub-national levels.
  • How do policy designs and administrative practices for forecasting and prediction of crises interact with individual and collective incentives? Are designs prone to type-1 and type-2 prediction error? Are designs conducive to policy learning?
  • How do variations in institutional and organizational designs facilitate and impede successful societal response to crises?
  • How are effects of crises transferred through and between systems and networks, and how can organizational and policy design enhance the resilience of networks, institutions and processes in the presence of crises?
  • In what way does the perception of the risks posed by potential crises condition anticipation and response to crises? Perceptions of risks by mass publics as well as by policy-making, scientific and practitioner communities would be fair game.
  • Systematic evaluations and comparisons of current and alternative policies implicated in crises concerning environmental, health, energy, or other substantive issue areas.