As security-related issues, the fading role of the state and the gradual elimination of borders are central themes in both political and scholarly debates today. “Failing states” as a safe haven for terrorists, transnational organized crime, a loss of overall legitimacy, shrinking state authority in conflict-ridden regions are the relevant keywords in this context.
There is good reason for a more fine-grained perspective, however. Current security issues are multi-faceted and dynamic, ranging from military protection to efficient public infrastructure and a viable social negotiation process. As a matter of fact, the state is not irrevocably losing ground in security-sensitive areas. In some areas of national and personal security, state authority and sound governmental practice are more important than ever.
The “Security, Society, and the State” research programme reflects these contradictory trends. It targets new security-related issues that are prime examples of the post-Cold-War era but have been largely neglected in mainstream research. The programme is intended to encourage junior scholars to pursue unconventional research agendas that are nonetheless crucial, while providing senior scholars with the opportunity to focus intensively on work in progress for a limited period. Moreover, the objective is to combine basic theoretical research with concepts that are applicable to present-day political issues of security policy.
The Gerda Henkel Foundation supports research projects under the following five headings:
1. Cyber Security as a Governmental Task
2. Public Administration and Human Security
3. Patterns of Conflict Resolution between the State and Traditional Actors
4. Non-Governmental Actors as Partners and Contenders of the State
5. Security Strategies between Doctrine Formation and Implementation
Academic coordination is the responsibility of scholars from the clusters of excellence “The cultural foundations of social integration” at the University of Konstanz and “The formation of normative orders” at Goethe University, Frankfurt as well as King’s College, London. The complete programme announcement is available online: