Institute of Political Science

ZUSE - Cohesion Through Security? Discourses, Interactions and Practices of European Cohesion in the Field of Security

The ZUSE project investigates how security as a guiding concept for the organization of European cohesion develops within public discourses, how this translates into concrete interactions and practices at different levels, and what effects on politics and society this entails. In recent years, European states and institutions have increasingly focused on the idea of the EU as a guarantor of security in "uncertain times" in order to create identification and acceptance. In this context, security in a broader sense refers to the preservation of a sense of stability and a consistent notion of one's own identity. However, this process is ambivalent and can be accompanied by undesirable consequences, such as exclusion effects. Despite its political relevance, this specific link between security and cohesion in the EU, as well as its concrete workings, dynamics, and effects, have not yet been examined in detail. To fill this gap, this project analyzes for the first time how European cohesion is organized through references to security and which discourses, practices, and interactions at the political, administrative, and societal levels are relevant in this process. The interdisciplinary project combines content analysis methods and document analysis with qualitative interviews, focus group discussions and ethnographic field observation. The project thus also aims to provide practical impulses for the formulation of effective and appropriate strategies for organizing cohesion through security that take into account non-intended consequences.

The project is conducted in cooperation with Dr. Hendrik Hegemann (Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg) and Prof. Dr. Teresa Koloma Beck (Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg).

The team from Tübingen focuses primarily on the construction of cohesion in European security debates and securitization schemes in debates on European cohesion at the political level.

The ZUSE project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

Find out more about ZUSE