Each subproject pursues its own research interests and objectives. Thanks to the concept groups, each subproject is closely linked to the other research projects, their work-in-progress as well as their output. This enabling enables our researchers to benefit from synergies and widen their perspective to other fields of the project.
Project Area A - Law
The concept groups incorporated in this project area explore distinct legal norms and practices prescribing and establishing security. Thus the impact of institutionalised and retaliatory norms, in the processes of securitization, are of central concern. Against this backdrop, reconstructing the establishment and respective challenges of legal certainty, as well as tracing the involvement of different groups of agents, in a historical long perspective, are designated as matters of priority.
Project Area B - Violence
The project area “Violence” coordinates all those concept groups with explicit relatedness to phenomena of collective violence, in particular in its organised version of war, or challenges arising from the sector of domestic/ inner security. As in the research unit “Violent communities” (Gewaltgemeinschaften) violence is defined in the narrow sense of physical violence. The collective use of violence is essential in several aspects of the security research out of a historical perspective, utilizing a broad definition of policies since violence represents a borderline case of communication: Violence can either form part of communication as in threats of violence, or mark the end of preceding communication. The relation between security and violence is also determined by this fluctuating quality.
Project Area C - Knowledge
The research projects of this project area are characterized by focussing on the impact of knowledge and representation systems on the processes of (de-)securitization. This is based on the assumption that the spread of security matters beyond the range of state sovereignty - in the traditional understanding - constitutes discussion and reformulation of security-related knowledge. This alludes to the quality and changeability of reality, if created by the communication of agents. Moreover knowledge systems which are institutionalized by routines, implicit forms of knowledge and canonical ways of representation, may shed light on the question of how certain understandings and practices of securitization are perpetuated, at times even, becoming indisputable. “Knowledge“, thus makes it possible to describe change and continuity of concepts as well as practices of security. Furthermore, knowledge is tied to the predicament that stabilized knowledge practices increase security but, at the same time, may prevent the detection of possible security threats.