Approved projects in the field of "Social aspects of civil secruity research"

Security solutions can only be effective if they fit in with day-to-day routines and if they work for society. The “Social dimensions of civil security research” call for proposals in the Federal Government’s security research programme is designed to consider issues related to society. The BMBF is expecting to see projects concerning developments in security culture and institutional security architecture. Challenges posed by technologisation are also relevant. Interdisciplinary questions regarding the requirements that innovative security solutions place on society, how they are embedded in society and what they mean for society are of interest under this call for proposals.

Gesellschaftliche Dimensionen der zivilen Sicherheitsforschung

Zoe /

The work so far has concentrated on questions regarding the emergence, acceptance, implementation and consequences of technologisation processes (i.e. technology) and challenges in relation to the operating framework, structures and patterns of action of stakeholders relevant to security (i.e. organisation). The calls for proposals in the field of “Social aspects of security research” primarily address security-related research on values, perceptions, communication and other behaviour patterns (i.e. security culture) and the national and international constitution of the conceptual, institutional and spatial framework within which measures to establish security are implemented, in the context of changing statehood.


Ongoing joint project:

Z-Lab: Future lab of the Research Forum on Public Safety and Security

Funding code 13N14842

Despite fluctuations in people’s sense of security, Germany ranks among the world’s safest countries. There are, however, always new challenges requiring practical security solutions and translation of the latest research findings into practice. The aim of the future lab is to improve knowledge transfer and boost networking in the area of security research between the research, business, user and policymaking communities. It will do this by bringing together civil security research findings in new contexts and presenting them in a hands-on exhibition. Considerable attention will be given to disseminating researching findings and acquiring security expertise.

The Future lab is located in the Einstein Center Digital Future in Berlin. Interested groups can take a look at the exhibition.

Project outline Z-Lab (PDF, only available in German)

Further information can be found on the project's own website.


Research Forum on Public Safety and Security

Sicherheit betrifft alle Lebensbereiche

Sergey Nivens -

Funding code 13N13655

Safety and security are basic requirements in any society. Though Germany is considered one of the safest countries in the world, it is not possible to provide the complete safety and security expected by some. The Research Forum analyses and assesses national and international developments in public safety and security. It categorises relevant research themes, generates new knowledge and deepens and disseminates existing expertise. Its research findings and workshops with policymakers serve as the basis for recommendations for action for specific issues.

Research Forum project outline  (only available in German)

Funding code 13N10435 (Duration: 10/2009 - 3/2015)

Research Forum project outline  (only available in German)


Completed research projects:

BaSiD: Security, perceptions, reports, conditions and expectations – Monitoring security in Germany

Das Sicherheitsempfinden von Personen ist individuell verschieden. / tatsi

Funding codes 13N11146 to 13N11152

What makes us feel secure? People’s individual sense of security is heavily influenced by their personal experiences and by external factors. As yet, however, there has not been any extensive scientific examination of the link between people’s personal sense of security and the differences in their assessment of threats. The BaSiD joint project explored the relationship between subjective fears and the public security situation. Based on the project’s findings they produced a “barometer of security in Germany”. This will help end users in their assessment of innovations, such as intelligent surveillance systems or new forms of organisation strategies, as well as in social debate.

More information  (only available in German)


DynASS: Dynamic arrangements in urban security culture

Logo des Verbundprojekts DynASS

TU Berlin, Institut für Stadt- und Regionalplanung

Funding codes 13N11215 to 13N11218

Where large groups of people live in small areas, it is particularly important to satisfy their need for public security. The goal of the DynASS project was to identify the factors that influence urban dwellers’ sense of security and to provide local authorities with guides and guidelines on action geared to increasing security.  To do so, the team examined urban residents’ perception of security and the measures adopted by local authorities to improve security.

More information  (only available in German)


INVODAS: Balancing the interests in the context of data retention

Die Balance zwischen Freiheit und ziviler Sicherheit ist bei der Vorratsspeicherung von Telekommunikationsverkehrsdaten von zentraler Bedeutung. / acilo

Funding codes 13N10923 and 13N10924

The objective of this project was to illustrate the possible options for retaining telecommunications data in a way that would preserve the balance between liberty and security. A major component of the project was a comparison of the solutions discussed and trialled in 26 EU member states, from a legal perspective. This provided a solid basis for social debate in Germany. The main aspects covered in the research were handling of and access to data (government – citizen), organisation and cost of data being retained by telecommunications providers (government – industry) and use of the data by different governmental bodies (government – government).

More information  (only available in German)


KoSiPol: Cooperative security policy in the city

Bürgernahe Sicherheitskonzepte spielen bei der Verbesserung der zivilen Sicherheit eine große Rolle.

Innenministerium NRW

Funding codes 13N11038 and 13N11039

Municipalities are being faced with new requirements as security issues become more complex, partners are brought in to help deliver effective prevention and the populace exhibits an increased sense of a lack of security. The aim of the KoSiPol project was to conduct a scientific analysis of and to refine municipal security strategies. It studied collaborative security activities in 16 towns and cities in areas usually associated with public security at the municipal level, including “Young offenders and victims”, “Addiction and drugs” and “Police presence”. Based on the results of the empirical investigation, the project sought to formulate concrete proposals for refinement plus recommendations on how to organise security in towns and cities.

More information  (only available in German)

Krisenprävention: Methods and tools for civil conflict resolution and crisis prevention

Je eher Konfliktursachen erkannt werden, desto effektiver können sie bearbeitet werden. / geopaul

Funding code 13N10445

This joint research project was split into three overlapping areas. The first, soft skills, conducted a critical analysis of lessons learned to date with regard to tools and methods used for civil conflict resolution and crisis prevention. The second area examined the potential dangers emanating from regional conflicts, taking Afghanistan as its example. The direct correlation between the increase in violence and political instability in Afghanistan and the cultivation and marketing of opium was the starting point for the third part of the project. It sought to deliver recommendations, based on analyses of Afghan opium poppy species, on how to improve development-oriented and prevention-oriented drug control methods and drug profile analyses.

More information  (only available in German)


LoCo: Preventing low-cost terrorism

Sicher ans Ziel durch innovative Technologien und präventive Maßnahmen / DNY59

Funding code 13N11222

In recent years, numerous cases have come to light in which attacks were carried out or being prepared using inexpensive equipment that was easy to acquire and (potentially) sufficient to strike sensitive parts of the civil infrastructure in European countries. With this in mind, the LoCo project aimed to align threat analyses with low-cost terrorism scenarios and to formulate recommendations both for situation-specific and technical prevention measures. The strategies developed on the project were incorporated into prevention recommendations, which were made available to governmental institutions, operators of infrastructure facilities, sociologists, criminologists and other terrorism researchers.

More information  (only available in German)


NETWASS: NETWorks Against School Shootings

Für eine Schule hat allein die Androhung einer Gewalttat verheerende Auswirkungen. / Rhoberazzi

Funding code 13N10689

This project was devoted to the development and evaluation of social and professional networks and early warning systems for preventing school shootings and other targeted acts of violence at German schools. The aim was to develop strategies for identifying security risks, improving the security situation at schools and people’s subjective sense of security and helping to avert risks. The project was mainly interested in identifying further risk factors and warning signals pertaining to school shootings as well as additional criteria for assessing the credibility of advance warnings. The new early warning system is already in use at more than 100 schools in three of Germany’s federal states (Berlin, Brandenburg and Baden-Württemberg).

More information  (only available in German)


SiGG: Security legislation

Bei Maßnahmen, die der inneren Sicherheit dienen, ist es wichtig, das Gleichgewicht von Freiheit und Sicherheit zu wahren. / no_limit_pictures

Funding codes 13N11171 and 13N11172

When policymakers plan action intended to ensure domestic security, the necessity of government intervention and/or monitoring powers is always the subject of great debate. This is particularly true with regard to the question of how threats (due to organised crime or international terrorism, for instance) can be tackled appropriately. The SIGG project aimed to make a significant contribution in this respect by providing a breakdown of the legislative processes in the area of security and delivering input to help find answers to fundamental questions concerning aspects such as government legitimacy, rule of law, democratic participation and control and proposals for solutions.

More information  (only available in German)

SIRA: Security in public spaces

Beispiel einer Sicherheitskontrolle / xyno

Funding codes 13N11095 to 13N11099 and 13N11287

Innovation in civil security is about more than technical advances. It is also important to gain a better understanding of when citizens feel their freedom is being restricted as this knowledge can be used to maintain the balance between enhancing security and protecting civil rights and liberties. International studies have revealed significant differences in social acceptance of security measures. The SIRA research project has taken this as its starting point and is investigating what factors influence whether security measures are accepted or rejected. The goal of the project was to identify all of the influencing factors and to produce a guide on how to optimise existing and future security measures.

More information  (only available in German)




SiW: Transformation of security culture

Zivile Sicherheit ist ein zentraler Wert unserer Gesellschaft. / m-1975

Funding code 13N11119

Civil security is particularly important to our society. Security cultures are shaped by the convictions, values and practices of individuals and organisations that decide how risks and hazards are to be assessed. Germany has seen a transformation of its security culture in recent years owing to new risks from natural disasters, organised crime and international terrorism. It is therefore crucial to analyse that transformation in order to gain a deeper understanding of what can and cannot be done in terms of security policy and of governmental institutions’ capacity to take action. The SiW research project conducted four case studies to analyse the transformation of security culture and to examine the causes and consequences of that transformation. On this basis, the team drew up effective problem-solving options and communication strategies.

More information  (only available in German)


TERAS-INDEX: Indicators for the impact of external factors

Ziel des Projekts ist es, die Folgewirkungen sicherheits politischer Maßnahmen abzuschätzen.

Funding codes 13N11164 and 13N11165

The TERAS-INDEX joint project explored the implications of security policy measures. The focus was on whether and to what extent the foreign policy practised by the Federal Republic of Germany and media coverage thereof have an impact on radicalisation processes in Germany. The project applied a wide range of approaches, from analysis of foreign and security policy practice to the development of a tool with which to register repercussions, to empirical research on the influence of external conflicts on social environments with different degrees of radicalisation. The findings were used to draw up recommendations for action, which were made available to policymakers and actors involved in internal security.

More information  (only available in German)