Navigating Emergencies: A Theoretical Model of Civic Engagement and Wellbeing during Emergencies

Efrat Blitstein-Mishor, Eran Vigoda-Gadot, Shlomo Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The intensity and impact of emergencies on communities and societies are on the rise. They call for better preparedness, responses, and coping strategies by all those who are involved, especially citizens and the government. This paper introduces the concept of emergency-oriented civic engagement (EOCE), which includes citizens’ attitudes and behaviors aimed at influencing the community and government during emergencies. A theoretical framework and model that explore these complex relationships are presented. The paper first explains the differences between emergency-oriented civic engagement and civic engagement during peaceful times. Next, an exploration of a set of variables such as interpersonal trust, feelings of threat, the cost–benefit ratio, and trust in government that may influence emergency-oriented civic engagement is introduced. Finally, the model is illustrated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that underscored the importance of solidarity and wellbeing among citizens during emergencies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number14118
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • COVID-19
  • civic engagement
  • collective action
  • emergency engagement
  • resilience
  • risk
  • trust
  • wellbeing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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