Since the end of the Cold War, the complexity of the security situation in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and Europe has increased significantly. The continuing unfolding of this new complexity is accompanied by an increasing diversity of security policy challenges, which, in addition to much-noticed new great power rivalries, manifests itself in particular in cross-border (clan) criminality, religious and political terrorism, the extremely diverse consequences of climate change, threats against critical infrastructures, which are essential for the functioning of a modern industrial society, or attacks in cyber space.

In order to meet these multiple challenges, security policy research from the perspective of the humanities and technical sciences informs the actors from politics, administration and security authorities responsible for averting danger.

Thematic focus

As a research-strong federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia also occupies a very strong position in the field of security research, both nationally and internationally, with a diverse and heterodox epistemic research community. The central concern of the project SecurityResearch.NRW is to record this variety and diversity of security policy research in and from North Rhine-Westphalia for the first time via a mapping project that is unique in Germany and Europe and to make it available to the public at home and abroad.

The Sicherheitsforschung.NRW project is thus a pilot project that is intended to serve as a model for all of Germany and Europe beyond North Rhine-Westphalia in the future in order to make researchers working on security policy issues more visible internationally, thus making their expertise more easily available for further needs in science, politics, administration and authorities, as well as linking them and their respective institutions and making their research results more visible to the public in order to help shape social discourse in an evidence-oriented manner.

Program goals

An elementary goal of the project is therefore to make a significant contribution to the further internationalization of security research in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Sicherheitsforschung.NRW project is therefore also intended to serve in a very special way to further expand the international cooperation of North Rhine-Westphalia and its researchers.

On the basis of this project, security policy research from a humanities and technical science perspective is to inform the actors responsible for danger prevention in politics, administration and security authorities. At the same time, security policy discourses in their respective disciplines are to be brought to the wider public through media and specific event formats. This is intended to help raise awareness of the changing and evolving security policy situation and the associated implications for citizens and government agencies. The goal is to offer reasoned approaches for addressing these new as well as old security challenges.

The first phase of the project (2020--2022) was completed with the publication of a Security Research Report NRW ("Security Research Report NRW").


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Dr. Enrico Fels

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