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Prof. Dr. Wolf Dombrowsky


Visiting Professor

Mail: wdombro(at)msn.com

Office hours: On appointment


Wolf R. Dombrowsky, born in 1948, graduated in sociology and political economy at the University of Bielefeld; he received his Doctors degree from the same University with a thesis on disaster and disaster relief. In 2006 he became Professor at the Fachhochschule im DRK Göttingen for sociology and disaster management, 2008 at the Steinbeis University Berlin for Disaster Management. From 1979 till 2011 he was doing disaster research at the Sociology Dept. of the University of Kiel. 1987 he became Co-Director of the Katastrophenforschungsstelle (KFS), the unique sociological Disaster Research Center in Germany; 1991 Director of KFS. In 2011 he retired from KFS but continued research and teaching at Steinbeis University. He has published several books and many articles on human behavior in disasters. He is an advisor to the German Ministry of the Interior, the German Red Cross, the German Fire Brigades, and a consultant to major companies (Bayer AG, Badenwerk AG, VAW, Flughafen Hamburg AG, Hewlett Packard) and German administrations (Federal and State). From 1990-94 he has served as First Vice President of the Research Committe on Disasters of ISA; from 1994-2002 he was co-editor of the Int. Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. From 1999 till 2010 he served as a Member of the German Radiation Protection Commission. He still is Deputy Head of the Commission on Civil Protection of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.


Publications of books and articles in German:

Publications in English:

(2001). Methodological Changes and Challenges in Disaster Research: Electronic Media and the Globalization of Data Collection, in: Stalling, R.A. (Ed.): Methods of Disaster Research. Xlibris Publication. Pp. 305-319
(1999). „Behavioral aspects of emergency management and public involvement“, Kerntechnik 64, (May), 3: 157-160 (München: Carl Hanser Verlag)
(1998). “Again and again. Is a disaster what we call a “disaster”?”, in: E.L. Quarantelli (ed.): What Is A Disaster? Perspectives On The Question. London, New York: Routledge Pp. 19-30
(1998). “Debate-Test-Dummy: Reaction to Hewitt”, in: E.L. Quarantelli (ed.): What Is A Disaster? Perspectives On The Question. London, New York: Routledge Pp. 99-100
(1993). “The Social Dimensions of Warning and the Transition from Folk Wisdom to Laymanship” in: Nemec, J./Nigg, J.M./Siccardi, F. (eds.): Prediction and Perception of Natural Hazards. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer, Pp. 23-28
(1993).”Social Response to the Roermond Earthquake”, in: Amendola, A./de Marchi B. (eds.): Workshop on Emergency Management, Ispra (Italy) 23-24 June 1992, Institute for Systems Engineering and Informatics, Joint Research Centre, Commission of the European Community, Ispra. Italy. Pp. 43-51
(1987) “Critical Theory in Sociological Disaster Research”, in: R.R. Dynes/B.de Marchi/C. Pelanda (eds.): Sociology of Disasters. Contribution of Sociology to Disaster Research. Milano: Franco Angeli, Pp. 331-356
(1981). “Solidarity between Families during the Snow-Disasters in Northern Germany”, MASS EMERGENCIES AND DISASTERS, Vol. 1, No. 1:189-205
(1998). & Ohlendieck, L.: “Flood management in Germany”, in: Rosenthal, U./´t Hart, P. (Eds.): Flood Response and Crisis Management in Western Europe. A Comparative Analysis. Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer, Pp. 153-187
(1986). & Schorr, John K.: “Angst and the Masses. Collective Behavior Research in Germany”, MASS EMERGENCIES AND DISASTERS, Vol. 4, No. 2:61-89