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At the heart of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) research activities are key questions of contemporary security and strategy. Unlike traditional, pre-1989 security threats, most of today’s challenges do not respect national borders, nor do they easily respond to traditional state-centric security approaches. We are particularly interested in the changing landscape of threats that states and their societies face (with a main focus on the issues of (non-)proliferation, energy and supply security, cyber-security, and terrorism), the methodologies, concepts, and tools used to gain knowledge about these threats (with a main focus on risk assessment, horizon scanning, and the use of social media) and the way states organise themselves to confront these threats (internally, regionally, globally, with a particular focus on strategies, security institutions and regimes).
Theoretically informed, but empirically-grounded engagement with threat perceptions, but also actual methodologies, strategies and policies used to manage the threats help us to study the relationship between conceptual shifts in security-thinking and the resulting modes of security governance. By asking for causes and implications of these changes for the state and society, we tackle the key issues of authority and legitimacy in security affairs, and how the relationship between politics and security is re-arranged.
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