Confronting Disasters in an Era of Climate Change: 3rd Conference of the International Network of Disaster Studies


**UPDATE: Proposal Submission Deadline Extended Until February 29, 2020**

Conference Overview

Dates: July 21-23, 2020
Location: Harvard Center Shanghai
Venue Address: 5/F, Shanghai ifc - HSBC Building, No. 8 Century Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, 200120, PRC

We are pleased to announce the third convening of the International Network of Disaster Studies (INDS), taking place July 21-23, 2020 in Shanghai, China. The conference will begin the morning of Tuesday, July 21, and end midday on Thursday, July 23. A detailed agenda will be posted here once the program is finalized.

We hope that you will save the date and consider proposing a paper or presentation topic. (Instructions for submitting proposals and additional information on the conference are provided below.) We look forward to seeing you in Shanghai in July!

Call for Papers

INDS is seeking proposals for papers and presentations that are broadly consistent with the conference theme, Confronting Disasters in an Era of Climate Change.

We welcome contributions on emergency events or potential crises which threaten or affect societal resilience. These include natural disasters, slow-onset crises, infrastructure or technology failures, epidemics, civil conflicts, and refugee flows. We invite proposals for panels, papers, or presentations that address prevention, risk reduction, and mitigation; domestic preparedness and emergency response; humanitarian relief to survivors and affected communities; and recovery efforts in neighborhoods, sub-national regions, or cross-national areas. Ideas for worthy topics that fall outside of the main theme area will also be considered.

Researchers should submit their proposals by February 29, 2020 by emailing  Submissions should be made as attachments in Word (preferred) or PDF format.

Proposals should include:
•    A brief topic/title for the paper or presentation
•    An abstract of approximately 250 words explaining the topic and the findings
•    Name(s) of proposers
•    Their positions and institutional affiliations
•    Email addresses and other contact information

Proposers will be notified by March 15, 2020 whether their topics have been selected for presentation on panels.

Because of the broad international participation expected at the conference, proposals and papers should be submitted in English. Completed papers should be approximately 3000-5000 words. PowerPoint slides may be submitted for presentations.

Papers or PowerPoint slides will be due by June 15, 2020, in order to be included in the proceedings to be distributed to conference attendees.


At this time, we ask that you indicate your interest in attending  the conference by joining the "Confronting Disasters" email list. In several months, we will  reach out to list subscribers with more information about how to formally register. As space is limited, we cannot guarantee you a spot at the conference until we have completed this process.

Please note that participants will need to make their own travel and lodging arrangements and cover associated costs.

Conference Sponsors

Harvard University (USA): Harvard China Fund, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University Asia Center, Program on Crisis Leadership.

Tsinghua University (China): Center for Crisis Management Research, School of Public Policy & Management

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China): School of International and Public Affairs

Iwate University (Japan): Research Center for Regional Disaster Management 

Conference Co-Chairs

Arnold M. Howitt, Faculty Co-Director, Program on Crisis Leadership; and Senior Advisor, Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, United States

XUE Lan, Dean, Schwarzman College, and Professor, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, China

Arjen Boin, Professor of Public Institutions and Governance, Leiden University, the Netherlands

About the International Network of Disaster Studies

Formed in January 2017, the International Network of Disaster Studies (INDS) is an association of academics and practitioners who convene regularly to exchange ideas and discuss issues of mutual interest relating to emergency management, homeland security, risk governance, humanitarian assistance, disaster recovery, and other associated topics. Previous INDS conferences took place in 2017 in Haikou, China, and in 2018 in Morioka, Japan. As the network continues to grow, we hope that our conferences will rotate among countries and continents on an annual basis.