The concept of crisis is elusive and it is highly disputed what actually makes a crisis a crisis. However, some elements reoccur more frequently than others when talking about crises. Among them are: “Decisive situation for better or worse”, “ambivalent combination of threat and opportunity”, “acting outside the routine”, “high degree of indeterminacy” and “acting under pressure”. What can be said is that such and similar understandings of crisis do travel far. Crises occur in different regional contexts and many cultures use the concept itself or a similar term. Yet, at the same time, crisis is no universal concept that is used by all humankind and at all times in the same way. It has evolved over time and some cultures adapt it more readily than others. It seems to be bound to particular cultural believes, such as: human agency exists, the future is open and can be influenced in the present and humans are responsible for the course of events. In institutional terms it has some affinity with capitalism, democracy and the existence of a free media. Crises pervade all parts of society. They occur in the economic, ecological and political spheres, they affect organizations, states and institutions. All kinds of professionals thus have to deal with crises and have to develop their own understanding of crisis. The topic of this workshop is to explore the similarities and differences in how professional cultures use and understand the concept of crises and to assess the magnitude of practices and knowledge orders that exist to deal with crises within such professional cultures. We therefore invite representatives from different practical fields as well as researchers, who have studied professional cultures of crisis, to exchange ideas about their respective understanding of crises and their particular approaches to manage crises. In three panels, we approach this topic from different ways: Are there different regional approaches to crisis management? Are there different organizational cultures of crisis management? And is there a global epistemic community around practices of crisis management?The workshop is inter-disciplinary, international and highly interactive. Our intention is to provide extensive time slots for joint discussion and to stimulate discussion by pointed inputs from dedicated experts. The panels are thus intended as informal exchange forums, open to diverse perspectives and controversial debates. In order to stimulate discussion we kindly asked each panelist to prepare a short statement of 5 to 10 minutes. We provide a few guiding questions in order to focus the inputs on the panel’s topics but encourage all panelists to bring in their respective subjective and personal experiences gained under highly divergent circumstances.