Mareile Kaufmann

PRIO and Hamburg University, Criminology

Mareile Kaufmann

Modalities of Resilience in the Networked Society

The fragmentation and diversification of post 9/11 insecurities, the growing power of non-state actors and the use of alternative weapons to inflict maximum casualties eventually exceed the limits of calculations and risk-based measures of prevention. In order to cope with such incalculable disruptions, an emerging concept of European security policy is to focus on the resilience of a societal system, its ability to rehabilitate and adapt to new circumstances. Using a mixed methods approach, this doctoral project examines how resilience influences concepts and governance of security in Europe.

By tracing policies and emerging legal regulations resilience is studied as a new security practice. Decision-making processes and mechanisms in the aftermath of Europe-terror warnings and the London-bombings are analyzed in terms of the emerging resilience paradigm. Similarly, this work will explore how certain security objects, such as critical (information) infrastructure, are integrated into the resilience-logic.

Furthermore, this work examines how resilience authorizes a ‘new’ set of security subjects. By re-distributing responsibilities from security authorities to the citizen, local settings now function as a pivotal point between operative and strategic emergency planning. Citizens are trained to “act out” contingencies as a basis for effective action.  Additionally, resilience expands existing partnerships of the public-private axis. The activation of new security subjects and related ramifications are studied via interviews and the visiting of exercises.

As resilience provides a new way of dealing with the uncertain elements of security threats, it also influences existing security concepts. It replaces protective security with empowerment by referring to the ability of a citizen to handle a crisis. This work will finally contribute to theory building by contrasting and discussing different disciplinary approaches to resilience and their impact on security concepts.