CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Risk and Crisis Communication in Europe: A Definitive Guide to Pan-European Scholarship and Practice

On behalf of the editors – Audra Diers-Lawson, Andreas Schwarz, Silvia Ravazzani, and Florian Meissner – and as part of the Routledge Studies in European Communication Research and Education Series we are inviting abstract submissions for a risk and crisis communication book proposal titled: Risk and Crisis Communication in Europe: A Definitive Guide to Pan-European Scholarship and Practice. Our core objective with this text is to develop a student and practitioner-focused text that represents the breadth of research in risk and crisis communication in Europe. 

Deadline for the submission of abstracts is 6 September, 2020 with accepted abstracts notified by 17 September. If the book is approved by the ECREA Series editors, contributors would have approximately one year to produce their chapter and supplemental materials. 

We welcome submissions from academics and practitioners. Where necessary, preference will be given to ECREA members as it is a condition of the series that at least 50% of contributors are ECREA members. If you are not a member of ECREA, you can join anytime. 

Submission Information

To submit — send an email to with the following information:

  1. Brief author bio for each author (name, affiliation, degree, and 1 or 2 sentence summary of research agenda)
  2. ECREA Member (yes/no)
  3. Section of the book (see below for the list)
  4. Theme of your submission (see below for the list)
  5. Willingness to create a 5-minute supplementary video to support the book (yes/no)
  6. If you are proposing a case study, willingness to work with the editors to create a 15 or 30 minute exercise based on the key themes emerging in the case study (we will put the exercises together, but we will ask you for key recommendations and suggestions to create an applied exercise based on the key lessons learned from the case study) (yes/no)
  7. Include a 300-500 word (maximum) structured abstract for the submission that addresses:
    1. Central aims and objectives of the chapter
    2. Focal Country(ies) for the chapter
    3. Brief summary of key content in the chapter
    4. Brief summary of key transferrable knowledge/skills after reading the chapter (learning outcomes)

Details About the Book Proposal

Context and Importance

The field of risk and crisis communication emerged, as a cohesive and distinctive area of study and practice, in the mid 1990’s and over the early 2000’s has established itself as a growing field (Diers-Lawson, 2020). Europe has emerged as a critical hub for the global development of theory and practice in risk and crisis communication. For example, ECREA is the first international communication association to have a full crisis communication section; it hosts one of the two main risk and crisis communication conferences in the world; the section has membership and consistent attendance at ECREA-sponsored events from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Despite the influence, the only text to meaningfully and explicitly addressed crisis communication in Europe was the Handbook of International Crisis Communication Research (2016) and that was within the context of exploring risk and crisis communication around the world. Since that text was published, not only has the field of risk and crisis communication continued to develop but Europe has experienced the amplification of the refugee crisis, Brexit, increasing terrorist attacks, a heightened awareness of the climate crisis, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these has not only contributed to scholarship and practice but have also changed the contexts for considering risk and crisis communication in Europe.

Moreover, one of the ongoing challenges is the translation of academic work to practitioner and student audiences to ensure the innovative research being conducted is accessible by the audiences that most need it. Therefore, our objectives with this book are:

  1. Develop pan-European perspectives on risk and crisis communication with relevance across and beyond Europe.
  2. Provide accessible and engaging material to translate traditional academic theory and research to non-academic audiences.
  3. Use the accessible material to create practical impact for the theoretical, methodological, and practical contributions of European-based scholars and practitioners in risk and crisis communication.
  4. Explore the multi-disciplinary connections in risk and crisis communication.
  5. Provide case studies from around Europe to support teaching and practice.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for the book will focus on:

  • Practitioners in risk and crisis communication
  • Students – both advanced undergraduates and post-graduates
  • Lecturers and scholars

Book Layout

Our tentative structure will include three sections; however, a more detailed structure might emerge based on the topics and categories of abstracts that we receive:

  1. Risk Communication in the pan-European context
  2. Crisis Communication in the pan-European context
  3. European-Based Case Studies

Themes in the book will address risk and crisis in relation to:

  • Business/Management/Leadership/Strategy
  • Culture
  • Employees
  • Health
  • Measurement
  • Media (including journalism and social media)
  • Politics
  • Social Responsibility
  • Technology and algorithms
  • Wicked Problems (e.g., climate change, natural disasters, refugee crises/migration, pandemics)

Unique Features

To support the objectives, there are several unique features to the book to improve its accessibility and translation of the material to non-academic audiences.

  1. Chapters will be written with the target audiences in mind. Therefore, they will:
    1. Be concise (i.e., 3000-4000 words maximum for sections 1 and 2, 1000-1500 words maximum for section 3).
    2. Use a uniform template for both regular chapters and the case studies to give the book consistency and clarity
    3. Actively incorporate visuals like figures, diagrams, and tables to improve clarity of concepts and models introduced. The copyright to all visuals will be owned by the authors.
  2. Each chapter and case study will have an approximately 5 minute supplementary video presentation from the author(s), which will be hosted on the section’s website (
  3. The editors will work with case study contributors to create 15 or 30 minute mini-simulations which will complement the material presented in the case studies to allow practitioners or students to experience a situation similar to the case study and apply lessons learned in the case study.

CFP: Communication Research on and from Europe

Call for papers 

Mediterranean Journal of Communication 


(January 2021)

Deadline: September 1, 2020 


Special Issue: Communication Research on and from Europe coordinated by Dr. Miguel Vicente-Mariño (University of Valladolid, Spain) and Dr. Ilija Tomanič Trivundža (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) will be published in January 2021 (V12N1). Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2020.  Ver detalles en español.

Communication Research on and from Europe

Europe is one of the two key cultural actors and geopolitical areas to understand the historical evolution and current status of scientific knowledge in the Social Sciences. Communication Research is a scientific field and/or discipline experiencing an undeniable expansion since the 1990s, grounding part of its growth on works arising from the Old Continent, where big changes –ranging from the collapse of the geopolitical East-West division to the long-standing institutional efforts to build up a strong European Union- stand behind the rapid growth and consolidation of a European community of Communication Research scholars.

The constitution of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), as a merging initiative between the European Consortium of Communication Research (ECCR) and the European Communication Association (ECA) in 2005 appears as an enriching initiative opening a forum for discussion and mutual recognition between and within a growing community of researchers facing similar challenges, topics of study, theoretical anchorages and methodological resources.

This special issue of Revista Mediterránea de Communication/Mediterranean Journal of Communication aims to reflect on the origins, the processes and the outcomes of Communication Research on and from Europe. Therefore, Europe is considered here both as topic of study (Communication Research on Europe) and as a territory generating scientific evidence (Communication Research from Europe). Departing from a comparative perspective, these contents aspire to turn into a useful discussion platform about how European researchers have developed Communication Research during the last century, identifying the main findings achieved and posing open questions towards a near future.

Research projects and scientific networks proving to be able to transcend borders and dealing with the challenges of identifying common or divergent patterns across Europe are also invited to present here their main arrival points, as this special issue expects to elaborate and deepen in the roots and horizons of Media Studies and Communication Research in Europe.

 An initial list of topics, open to any other suggestion coming from the readership, could be as follows:

– History of European Communication Research;

– European Media Audiences;

– Media industries in Europe;

– Journalism Studies on Europe;

– Comparative Media Studies at a European scale;

– European Social Movements and Activism;

– European Public Opinion and the emergence of a common continental public sphere;

– Academic Labour Conditions in European institutions devoted to Communication Research;

– The role played by ECREA, and other scientific associations with a European scope, in shaping a research community at the continental level;

– The role played by the European Communication Conference (ECC) as a meeting point for European Communication researchers;

– The role played by European and national institutions active in the field of Social Sciences.

Consequently, all ECREA sections, working groups and networks are especially addressed by this call, as the experience accumulated during the last fifteen years is a valuable resource to elaborate on the role played by Communication Research and Education in shaping up a common and updated notion of Europe. But this call is not limited to these actors, but open to any research project including the European territory and culture as a priority.

This special issue will be co-edited Miguel Vicente-Mariño, University of Valladolid and Ilija Tomanič Trivundža, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Anyone willing to receive additional information about this call or to address any question about potential participation, can directly contact the invited editors at

CFP: Theory Advancing Practice: The Contingency Theory in the Strategic Management of Crises, Conflicts and Complex Public Relations Issues

Deadline: November 30, 2020

Special issue editors:

Augustine Pang, PhD
Singapore Management University

Yan Jin, PhD
University of Georgia

Crises and conflicts have become more complex, impacting nations, organizations and individuals in unprecedented ways. Look no farther than how organizations (operationalized as governments, corporate, NGOs, NPOs) respond – or forced to respond, as an organization, an industry, or an multi-agency issue response entity, when confronted with threats to business, public health and safety, and national/international security. Organizational responses, at each level, must be equally dynamic, cognizant of the dynamics of internal structures and external vulnerabilities, that could affect their position, approach and management of communication outcomes that reflect organizational purpose and values as manifested in the process of making strategic decisions on short-term and long-term responses.

Over the past three decades, the Contingency Theory of Strategic Conflict Management (the Contingency Theory hereafter) has emerged as an empirically tested perspective in how public relations, crises, and conflicts can be managed. It defines public relations as strategic management of competition and conflict in the best interests of one’s organization, and when possible, also in the best interests of key publics (Wilcox, Cameron, & Reber, 2015). This has been applied to how nations, organizations and publics manage and negotiate conflicts. Coombs (2010) has described the Contingency Theory as a “grand theory of public relations”. A “grand theory” is one which “seeks to explain how public relations as a whole operates”. Grand theories seek to explain an entire discipline and “can be adapted to specific areas of the discipline” (Coombs, 2010, p. 41). Today, it is one of the most applied theories applied in crisis communication research (An & Cheng, 2010).

The premise of the theory is this: If two-way communication is not always possible, organizational response to a public relations issue or problem must be examined more dynamically. The Contingency Theory argues this to be examined via stance movements, which has, at one end of the continuum, advocacy, and at the other end, accommodation. The theory offers a matrix of 87 factors, arranged thematically, that the organization could draw on to determine their stance. Between advocacy, which means arguing for one’s own case, and accommodation, which means making trade-offs with a public, is a wide range of operational stances that influenced strategic communication strategies.

The Contingency Theory began essentially as a public relations theory in the 1990s, but has since been adapted and applied to crisis situations. Frandsen and Johansen (2017) argued that “it was not until the mid-2000s that Cameron’s contingency theory of accommodation became a genuine theory of crisis communication. It was in particular Augustine Pang and Yan Jin who contributed to this development” (p. 116). Heath and Coombs (2006) argued that theories are developed from best practices. Liu and Viens (2020) reflected the arguments among scholars for research to advance practice. Pang, Jin and Cameron (2010) argued that the Contingency Theory was developed to reflect the reality of practice. “Even as the insights of the theory are now used to inform practice, the theory actually operates in a continual cycle of how practice informs theory and how theory transforms practice. As the field evolves, so does the theory” (p. 28).

This special issue examines how the Contingency Theory has transformed and informed public relations and strategic communication practice. We invite submissions, be it conceptual or empirical, of all methodological approaches, to topics (interdiscplinary perspectives are especially encouraged), but are not limited to,

  • Further elaboration, expansion, and explication of the Contingency Theory and trajectory of future research
  • How the theory has informed and/or transformed practice
  • Application of theory to crises, conflicts, public relations issues, or public diplomacy
  • Linkages and interaction of the contingency factors in resolving conflicts, managing crises, or dealing with complex public relations issues
  • Identifying new contingency factors
  • Innovative approach of evaluating the relative importance among existing contingency factors in influencing public relations decision making
  • Measurement advancement in refining the operationalization of stance and stance movements
  • The application and advancement of the Contingency Theory in the social media landscape
  • Crisis/conflict leadership and strategic communication decision making in complex situations
  • Understanding the role of publics in the contingency framework: The role of cognitive appraisal, emotions, and coping
  • Ethical factors or considerations associated with strategic communication with key publics with conflicting values and/or different expectations from the organization


All manuscript submissions should be no more than 25 pages or 6,000 words (excluding references and tables, figures or appendices), double-spacing, 1-inch margin, 12-point font, Times New Roman.. Please follow the most recent APA style guideline for in-text citations and references. All submissions will be double-blind reviewed, following the guideline of Public Relations Review.


  • Deadline for full paper submission to the Public Relations Review submission portal: November 30, 2020
  • Notification of review results, including invitations for revision and resubmission (R&R): February 28, 2021
  • Deadline for R&R submission: April 1, 2021
  • Publication: Scheduled for third or fourth quarter of 2021

For questions about this special issue, please email one or both of the guest editors:

Augustine Pang

Yan Jin

Developing a global virtual risk & crisis community

A collaborative, open resource for risk & crisis communication

We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when creating them.

— Albert Einsten.

We are certainly living through an interesting and very challenging moment in history. Risk and crisis communication scholars and practitioners have an opportunity to share the best practices, latest research, best approaches to mitigating risk, as well as our work and engagement.

The plans for this site as well as the risk and crisis community have been in process for months, yet as they have come together now, we also have an opportunity to critically reflect on ongoing health crises, the COVID-19 pandemic, recent (and future) economic crises, and all of the factors that connect to what serves mutual interests in our communities, institutions, and businesses.

As the current chair for ECREA’s Crisis Communication division, my invitation for the community is to share our work, our experiences, our thoughts, and research. If you would like to be a contributor, contact me directly at

Contributor Guidelines

For anyone interested in contributing, here are the guidelines for posts:

  1. Text-based posts need to be 400-1500 words (maximum)
  2. MP4-based posts (e.g., recorded interviews, podcasts, mini-lectures, etc.) of 2 1/2-5 minutes are acceptable but the MP4’s will need to be uploaded separately (contact me for the upload details) with a 100-200 word ‘abstract’
  3. We invite posts on calls for participation (papers, conferences, etc.), information about upcoming events relevant to the community, recent publications (promote your latest work), risk and crisis in the news, and teaching and training related to risk and crisis communication
  4. All posts need to have a featured image and we encourage visualisation of material where possible. However, all visuals must be copyright free OR owned by the person posting them.
  5. Before their first post, contributors are expected to create a brief profile and are encouraged to upload a photo, put in their own social media, and email contact information.
  6. Aside from the MP4’s that will be uploaded separately, contributors are responsible for laying out their own posts. Technical help using WordPress is generally not available from the management team, but there is a lot of WordPress documentation for help.

Posts will be moderated by a member of the division’s management team before being scheduled for posting. However, our objective is to encourage open participation; therefore, this is not a ‘peer-review’ process; rather, ensuring the content is accessible and appropriate to the group’s mission.