In addition to the institutional structures and processes of global
security governance, international security policy encompasses the
complex interplay of state and non-state security actors as well as
global security challenges and risks and how these are dealt with in
national foreign policies or in the context of international
In teaching and research, the chair deals with understanding and dealing with global security threats. The range and complexity of security challenges facing the world has never been greater - and it is constantly increasing. Climate change, pandemics, cyberattacks, violent extremism and intergovernmental rivalries are a constant threat to people around the world.
The focus is on the following thematic priorities:
| International and regional security organizations
| Emotions and international conflicts
| Regional integration and global order
The chair offers introductory courses on international security and international relations. This includes an understanding of the basic theoretical concepts and genesis of International Security Studies as well as the empirical analysis of international security threats.
In addition, we offer teaching in peace and conflict research and method training. The main focus is on imparting theory and practice in international conflict analysis and the role and function of international organizations. Methodologically, the focus is on qualitative data and case analysis. In the sense of “learning through research”, our aim is to promote independent scientific work and developing and realizing your own project ideas and scientific foundation.
The subproject D04 examines the dynamic interplay between emotions mediated by governmental entities of the European Union (EU) and the emotional expressions of activist networks from the left and right spectrums.
With focus on European migration policy, the project investigates to what extent activist networks challenge institutionally embedded repertoires of emotions at the EU level and thereby are capable to question them. Furthermore, the project asks which actors are allowed to feel what, when and how, whose emotions are relevant to the discourse, and how the self-image and identity of the EU are affectively contested in migration policy.
The subject of investigation thus encompasses situations in which the meanings and forms of expression of individual emotional repertoires are disputed. The project describes these situations and events as affective sites of contestation, where rules and norms regarding the appropriateness and expression of emotions are questioned, rejected, and possibly redefined.
Emotional communities are all around us, whether we take a church congregation or supporters of a particular sports team. What links these communities conceptually is a collective understanding of its basic emotional appraisals and their appropriate expression. In world politics, human rights activists form emotional communities because they are emotionally moved by human stories of suffering and distress and, in turn, use the same logic to move other people and governments to action.
Al Qaeda is an emotional community in which its members glorify and mourn martyrdom and are united by their expression of (violent) anger and hatred against Western liberal values. The members of the European Union share an emotional history of grief and trauma rooted in the destructive effects of two major wars. Emotional communities are groups in which people adhere to the same norms of emotional expression and value – or devalue – similar or related emotions.
This research project investigates a particular type of emotional community in world politics: a security community. It is argued that emotion norms – the expression of appropriate emotions in a given situation – stabilize a security community during inter-allied conflict. Building on Social Identity Theory and Intergroup Emotion Theory, it is argued here that political leaders use emotional language and expressions to communicate their intentions vis-à-vis insiders and outsiders. In this sense, state representatives employ a vocabulary of emotional discourse accompanied by symbolic interaction to frame regional peace and to stabilize this peace system during times of internal conflict. In the absence of formally institutionalized mechanisms for intra-allied conflict resolution, emotions serve an important purpose by fulfilling constitutive functions for a security community (producing solidarity, sanctioning non-compliance, affirming moral order, clarifying social hierarchy). Conversely, resistance to comply with established emotional conventions challenges the very foundations of such communities and paves the way for undermining and/or transforming them. This argument will be empirically illustrated by four comparative case studies of transatlantic conflict management, using an emotionally attuned Qualitative Discourse Analysis (QDA). The project seeks to demonstrate two things: (1) the fundamental importance of emotions for resolving intra-institutional conflict and for maintaining social order in international politics; and (2) to convey a sense of how emotions, morality, and norms are related.
What are the central structural and procedural characteristics of civil society communication in relation to social cohesion? The main focus of the research unit is on semantic, pragmatic and persuasive aspects in the public and internal communication of civil society actors. The research focus is therefore on the analysis of concrete discourse elements: Which interpretive frames are foregrounded in the communication of political ideas? Which metaphors are dominant in relation to core concepts such as social cohesion or resilience?
The joint project implements an ambitious empirical research agenda on the ambivalent consequences of civil society for social cohesion. It brings together researchers in the social sciences, the humanities, and computer science, from Free University Berlin, Humboldt-University Berlin and Technical University Berlin.
The joint project is funded by the Berlin University Alliance Grand Challenges: Exploration Projects Social Cohesion initiative. Our research takes a close look at the relationship between civil society and social cohesion. How, and under what conditions, do civil society actors engage in interactions that foster or break cohesion?
Our aim is to understand social cohesion as driven by, and constantly negotiated through the specific dynamics of social interaction. The Berlin University Alliance Exploration Project consists of four key research units that focus on the mapping and monitoring of civil society, its discourses, constituent individuals, and mundane social encounters. The research unit Discourses of Cohesion investigates how social cohesion is negotiated and constituted in different discourses in civil society. For this purpose, interactions and relationships between civil society actors as well as their communication with the public are examined. The focus is therefore on the online and offline communication of selected civil society organizations in discourses that negotiate issues of community and cohesion.
The book series is published by Nomos and is aimed at research that deals with the meaning of emotions in political and social contexts. Emotions are a fundamental part of the social. As social phenomena, emotions affect political dynamics and social structures. Conversely, they are an expression of socio-political conditions and changes. Emotion research has gained increasing attention in recent years and, originally settled in psychological disciplines, has expanded to include social science subjects and questions. The interdisciplinary book series “Emotions in Politics and Society” offers a forum for this research. It publishes political science, sociological and cultural studies monographs and edited volumes and appears in German and English.
Editor of the book series
Simon Koschut, Zeppelin University & Christian von Scheve, Free University of Berlin
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