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Security and Emergency Services

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There is more than the societal dimension of security: the societal creation of security. There are no effective technological solutions without acceptance and public participation. Security Research should consider significant social, cultural, ethical, legal, and political aspects of security from the very beginning, that is, not only in the implementation perspective and in terms of public acceptance and ascribed legitimacy. Civil security is thus becoming an own sub-field of public policy analysis, addressing societal security from a governance perspective. While “security governance” as such is not a new concept, it so far has mainly been applied to international security and strategic studies. However, growing concern about “societal security,” public acceptance of home affairs, internal security, or homeland security and related technologies, the “objective” (factual) vs. “subjective” (felt) security continuum, and the “internal”–“external” security continuum show the relevance of a governance approach to civil security. This need is contributed to by the increase in phenomena of “securitization,” whereby issues are speech-acted as security concerns and thus removed from the normal policy and governmental process. The FOCUS project on “foresight security scenarios” and a comprehensive approach to civil security in the 2035 time frame had a two-year mission and was co-funded by the European Union. The project performed multiple foresight on the international scale, including collaboration with foresight initiatives and project in a couple of countries, including far beyond the EU. The project aimed to define the most plausible threat scenarios that affect the “borderline” between the external and internal dimensions to security – and to derive guidance for possible security roles of nations and organizations, and decisions to plan research in support of those roles. Scenario foresight in the FOCUS project was done on the level of critical and creative – yet methodologically guided – forward thinking at strategic level in order to increase the ability to cope with relevant alternative futures from the near future until 2035. The first part of the paper introduces the FOCUS scenario foresight approach. The second part presents selected results from FOCUS scenario foresight on future EU roles as a comprehensive security provider to its citizens, as they were used in roadmap development. The third part describes the reference scenarios towards which the roadmap was geared. The fourth part introduces the FOCUS roadmap. A brief fifth part provides an outlook on the way ahead: governing civil security and the research that contributes to it.


Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Alexander Siedschlag was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.