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The Minerva Center for

the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions

invites submissions for a

Symposium on

Institutional Structures for Governance Before-During-After a National Emergency

University of Haifa
Haifa, Israel
December 14-15, 2017


The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions (RLEC) at the University of Haifa invites submissions for a two-days international Symposium on Institutional Structures for Governance Before-During-After a National Emergency , to be held at the University of Haifa on December 14-15, 2017.

The Symposium is convened by the Principal Investigators of the Minerva Center RLEC: Prof. Eli Salzberger, Prof. Amnon Reichman, Prof. Deborah Shmueli and Prof. Gad Barzilai in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Defense.


Subject-Matter of the Symposium 

The distinction between emergency situations and routine events traditionally prevailing in legal regimes is no longer as clear as it used to be. Climate change, geopolitical changes, increasing exploitation of natural resources, as well as greater density of populated areas and technological connectivity can turn events such as armed conflicts, terror attacks, mass influxes of immigrants, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes or flooding,  into larger-scale disasters than they might have been in the past.   

As a result the authorities have the responsibility to ensure sufficient readiness to different types of emergencies and extreme conditions. For that purpose, many states have established mechanisms that are meant to mitigate, prepare, manage and orchestrate their coping with emergencies; before, during and after they occur. These mechanisms can be establish by law, executive orders or by de facto practice. These measures can include mandatory exercises of emergency scenarios, mechanisms for the declaration of an emergency situation, special institutions and decision-making procedures for emergencies, checks and balances, allocation of responsibilities and obligation to various authorities, judicial overview, cooperation with NGOs, compensations for damages, etc. 

The implementation of such mechanisms requires collaborations between different military-government-civilian agencies. Such complicated collaborations can result in tensions between the different agencies, as well as gaps between the law in the book and the law in action. In addition problems can arise with accountability over the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery after the emergency.


Main topics of interest – both existing law and practice and normative views – include, inter alia, the following: 

  • What is an emergency situation, justifying a special governance regime? 
  • Is there a special law for regulating the preparation as well as administration in such a situation? 
  • Is there a difference between expected and unexpected emergencies? Is the governing regime different in ‘normal/ routine emergency situations’ (e.g. annual winter storms) than ‘real’ unpredicted and unexpected emergencies? 
  • Is an official “declaration of an emergency situation” a sine non que for a shift in regimes? Who is or should be authorized to make such a declaration? 
  • Is there a difference in emergency governance when the threat is military (e.g. an armed conflict, missiles attack, and terrorism), a natural disaster, a severe civil unrest, or other emergencies? Should the same governing structure be implemented for all types of threats? 
  • Who directs actions and operations, including to determine the measures to be taken before, during and after an emergency? Should there be one centralized body responsible for disaster preparation and mitigation of impacts, coordination of response and rehabilitation (pre-during-post disaster) or should the structure be de-centralized or a networked system? 
  • Who decides what the threat to be prepared for is? Is it necessary to have a prepared reference scenario? 
  • What are the relationships between civil authorities and the army before and during an emergency? What is the chain of command? 
  • Should the same body be responsible for providing the population with all basic needs - i.e. shelter, food, energy and water as well as rescue and evacuation? Or should different agencies be responsible for different needs? 
  • Should the administration rely on NGOs’ and civil society activities during time of emergency as part of its ex ante policy? Should this reliance be regulated by law? What regulatory obligations can be imposed on civilian and commercial organizations?  
  • Who decides when a situation of emergency has ended? 
  •  How should a return to routine be orchestrated? Who governs rehabilitation? 

Purpose of the Symposium 

The purpose of this Symposium is to convene a group of scholars from different countries for a high-level discussion on enduring and emerging questions on emergencies and governance, and to compare different regimes. This two-days Symposium will offer participants both rigorous scholarly discussion and social-academic interaction leading to a publication of the presentations after revision.


Structure of the Symposium 

The Symposium will feature papers selected through this Call, with one discussant assigned to each paper. Pre-symposium papers will be available to all participants prior to the discussion. Each presentation will be followed by a response from the discussant, and questions and comments from the other participants.



The conveners intend to publish the papers in an edited book or as a special issue of a journal. Discussants may also be invited to submit stand-alone papers to the special issue.



Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students and practitioners from all relevant disciplines (inter alia Law, Political Science, National Security, and Geography).


Submission Instructions 

The Symposium includes two tracks for submissions: 

Article track 

Interested participants should send an abstract of 750 words. Abstracts should reflect papers that will not have been published by the time of the Symposium, nor been submitted elsewhere for publication. Submission should be identified with the following subject line: “Article track — Institutional Structures in times of emergencies.”   

Position-Paper track 

Interested participants should email a 350 words summary of the position paper. The position paper should reflect an existing policy of a specific administration alongside the difficulties that such policy entails, or a framework for changes in such an existing policy. Submissions should be identified with the following subject line: “Position Paper track — Institutional Structures in times of emergencies.”

Proposals for both tracks should be emailed along with a curriculum vitae by August 10, 2017 to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Notification and Participation Requirements 

Successful applicants will be selected by a Symposium Organizing Committee and notified no later than August 31st, 2017.



An invitation to participate in this Symposium will be issued to participants under the following conditions: (1) the participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper between 8,000 words and 12,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the Symposium conveners, or a position paper between 2500 and 5000 words; (2) the participant agrees to submit a full pre-symposium draft by December 1st, 2017; and (3) the participant agrees to submit a full post-symposium final draft by April 1st, 2018; and (4) The participant agrees to acknowledge in the publication the Minerva Center for RLEC at the Faculty of Law and the Geography and Environmental Studies Department, the University of Haifa.



The Minerva Center is pleased to offer fully subsidized three nights of accommodation and all meals for participants. There is no cost to participate in the Symposium. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel and other incidental expenses. Nevertheless, under special circumstances, and for detailed requests, the organizing committee may consider a small support for some participants’ travel expenses.



Please direct inquiries in connection with this Symposium to Adv. Ido Rosenzweig by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone at +972-(0)-525516596.


Symposium Organizing Committee 

Prof. Eli M. Salzberger, The Director of the Minerva Center RLEC 

Prof. Gad Barzilai, Deputy Provost, University of Haifa and Principal Investigator, Minerva Center RLEC 

Prof. Amnon Reichman, Principal Investigator, Minerva Center RLEC 

Prof. Deborah Shmueli, Principal Investigator, Minerva Center RLEC 

Dr. Michal Ben-Gal, Research Coordinator, Minerva Center RLEC 

Adv. Batya Zax, Minerva Center RLEC 

Adv. Ido Rosenzweig, Director of Research (Terrorism, Belligerency & Cyber), Minerva Center RLEC


About The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions

The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law and the Geography and Environmental Studies Department, is an international venue and transnational forum - together with the University of Hamburg, for study, research, training, education and publication.  It fosters multifaceted empirical and theoretical research in the study of the rule of law as a social sphere during belligerencies, natural disasters and socio-economic acute crises.Challenges to the rule of law under extreme conditions may vary under different constitutional and political regimes. The Center concentrates on democracies. The analyses examine institutional, cultural, socioeconomic and policy dimensions. Its mission includes encouraging scholars, young scientists, and students to develop data and cultivate an interactive dialogue for research and training around these issues.The Center fosters dialogue with students, scholars, experts, policy and decision makers through symposia, colloquia, seminars, conferences and a series of publications based on its research and findings. For more, please visit