Research Group 'Risk, Crisis, and Societal Security' (RCSS)

The Research Group for Risk, Crisis, and Security, at the Department of Technology and Safety, contributes to developing knowledge, sharing information, and facilitating scholarly debates in its field. The research group also functions as a forum to discuss and evaluate new project generation and funding opportunities. Since 2016, the research group has been organising an international UiT Societal Security Workshop, where leading scholars in the field, external project partners and participants, staff members and students come together in order to promote and benefit from knowledge sharing and cooperation in the fields of risk, crisis, and societal security. The research group aims at becoming a recognised consort of excellence in its field both nationally and internationally. 

Scope of the Research:

Recent decades are associated with the escalating losses from natural and man-made hazards. Over these periods, new regional, national, and global risk landscapes have emerged as a result of ever-increasing complexities in modern societies, heterogeneous political ambitions of state and non-state actors, complicated and convoluted impact of climate change, and complex interdependencies of infrastructure systems, organisations, and agencies.

Th research areas of this group are revolved around managing the risks and providing solutions to ensure the safety and security of our societies. We focus on both fundamental and applied research. We find practical solutions for existing safety and security related problems of the society, its agencies, and organisations, by integrating latest scientific tools, methods, and models. Through conducting fundamental research, we contribute to increasing understanding of fundamental principles and theoretical rigours of societal security, in addition to developing tools, methods, models for analysing and managing risks and crises. While maintaining disciplinary plurality, the research group aims to benefit from multi- and interdisciplinary insights into the fields of risk, crisis, and societal security. 


We research on risk analysis and management by encompassing technical, organisational, and societal theories, tools, techniques, and models built around risk and its identification, risk assessment, communication, management, and governance. We generate knowledge and provide information for a variety of stakeholders in both the industrial and societal sectors, including, maritime, energy, transport, water, health, and ICT.


We view crisis management as a process based on gaining the public trust for the legitimacy of crisis decision-making. Research in crisis management in our group has distinct civil and social perspectives, touching upon technological, structural, social, political, economic, and cultural issues related to crisis management. Hence, we address the critical issues of crisis management, such as:

  • Crisis leadership and politics of crisis
  • Stakeholders’ participation in emergency response
  • Challenges in transboundary crisis response
  • Crisis communication and digitalisation
  • Crisis decision-making
  • Disaster management
  • Public reaction and empowerment in crisis management

Societal Security

Within our research group, we understand the societal security as the ability of a society (country) to maintain the critical societal functions and secure its population’s life, health, needs, and values when being exposed to crises. We address contemporary challenges imposed on societal security to develop new knowledge and solutions to ensure the safety and security of people. Given the transboundary character of societal security challenges we focus on leveraging cross-country collaboration in the Nordic region and internationally. The societal security aspects studied include inter alia resilience, vulnerability, accountability, opportunities of crisis management in terms of prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, governance tools, civil-military and public-private cooperation, etc.