Social aspects of civil security research

Though “security” and “liberty” are not conflicting terms, the balance between the two is delicate. Too little security is a threat to our way of life in a liberal democratic state. Too much security can jeopardise our personal freedom and our right to information privacy. Civil security research as understood by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is always mindful of this delicate balance and will help preserve it.

The “Research for civil security” framework programme provides a suitable approach for doing just that. It is based on close cooperation between end users (such as the fire brigade and police force) and researchers from the fields of engineering, science and the social sciences plus representatives of industry. Working on interdisciplinary projects, they develop innovative solutions, embedded in application-oriented strategies.

The partners conduct joint research on issues that concern, for instance, ethical aspects or data protection. Aspects that play a role in several projects, such as interaction between new technologies and society, are explored in dedicated projects.