SFB 138
Dynamics of Security
Forms of Securitization in Historical Perspective

The nexus of freedom and security: Roma minority formation in modern European history

In cooperation with Dr. Huub van Baar

This project analyzes processes, practices and concepts of
minority formation–what we call ‘minoritization’–from the angle of
the interplay between freedom and security that is integral to minority governance
in modern European history. This project starts from the idea that,
since the emergence of classical liberalism in the eighteenth century,
the development of security mechanism has gone hand in hand with the controlling
of the conditions of ‘free’ and ‘good circulation’ of people. This includes
calculating the costs and risks of opening up new spaces of circulation and
identifying possible spheres and categories that endanger the interests of individuals
and collectives. When free circulation is simultaneously encouraged and controlled,
the production of historically diverse practices of freedom and the parallel
development of security mechanism come together. The promise of freedom is
intrinsically linked to the creation of security.

This project mobilizes a neo–Foucauldian governmentality approach to
(de)securitization (Huysmans 2006; Burgess 2011; Walters 2012)
to examine how the development of diverse liberal concepts and practices of freedom
has historically gone hand in hand with a twofold dynamics. We focus, on the one side,
on how securitizing (Versicherheitlichung) minoritize some parts of a population
while ‘majoritizing’ others and, on the other side, on parallel forms of
minority self–articulation and the ways in which they challenge and
politicize population regulation and its limits.

The analysis of (de)securitization (Entsicherheitlichung)
from a neo–Foucauldian angle starts from the idea that liberal and
neoliberal security framings modulate a relation between freedom and security,
rather than one of its terms. This view challenges approaches to
de–securitizing strategies that one–sidedly rely on the discursive reformulation
of securitized issues or processes in non–security terms, for instance,
in those of human and minority rights, development, or justice. By interrogating
the interplay between minoritization and minority self–articulation,
the project investigates how we can alternatively understand and
ethnographically analyze practices of de–securitization.


The future of democracy is one of the most pressing problems in contemporary political science and philosophy. On the one hand, we face a growing alienation in politics: democratic institutions and procedures may be working properly, but important decisions are taken behind closed doors, and, for the citizens, only an illusion of democracy persists. On the other hand, citizens worldwide seem to be not politically-inactive or de-motivated at all. Instead, we witness many faces of citizen-resistance and activities against the current political situation: mass protests in many European cities, riots in London, and revolts in Northern Africa.
We are confronted with two developments, which, at first glance, aim in different directions: democracy seems to be both in decline and to rise from the dead at the same time. What should democratic practices and institutions look like in a globalised society, and what are the normative principles that underlie them?
This project will scrutinise both questions and relate them to one another - an endeavour not often undertaken in the academic context. Only by combining the perspectives of different disciplines, can the complexity of these phenomena be addressed in a fruitful and innovative way, thus bridging the gap in today's research.
The project topic will be addressed in four steps, which correspond to four sections ...

Read more here:
  Global Justice and Democracy

The central challenge for political theory today and for the foreseeable future is the problem of achieving a just global order. What must the institutions ofsuch an order look like, and what are the normative principles that should guide them? The project will scrutinize both questions and relate them to one another, something rarely done in current academic contexts.
The project will illuminate the tensions that can arise when the concepts of "justice" and "democracy" are combined on a global scale: If global democracy is the logical consequence of a universalistic (or cosmopolitan) conception of egalitarian justice, the realisation of such a vision threatens the political infrastructure of national democracies (in both Western and Non-Western countries), potentially turning them into a "graveyard of freedom" (to use Kant's metaphor) and eventually even jeopardising world peace.
The topic will be addressed in three steps ...

Read more here:
  Human rights-based approaches to sustainable water and sanitation services
in Uganda and South Africa. A comparative study of the political and social
context and the local, national and international development strategies

Menschenrechte und Rechtsstaatlichkeit gehören zu den grundlegenden und
weithin geteilten Leitbildern der Entwicklung(spolitik). Die Aneignungs- und
Umsetzungsstrategien, aber auch die Interpretationen dieser Leitbilder,
fallen in den jeweiligen nationalen und regionalen Kontexten unterschiedlich
Der vorliegende Projektantrag hat zum Ziel, unterschiedliche
menschenrechtsbasierte Wasser-Policies in zwei afrikanischen Ländern zu
untersuchen. Als eine der wenigen Länder in der Welt haben Südafrika und
Uganda das Menschenrecht auf Wasser in ihren Verfassungen aufgenommen haben.
Beide Staaten haben im Laufe der letzten zehn Jahre weit reichende Reformen
im Bereich der Wasserversorgung, des Abwassermanagements und der sanitären
Einrichtungen vorgenommen - mit unterschiedlichem Erfolg. Während Südafrika
zahlreiche Verbesserungen vorweisen kann, geriet Ugandas Reformprozess ins
Das Forschungsprojekt analysiert und evaluiert den ugandischen und
südafrikanischen rechtsbasierten Reformprozess mit dem Ziel,
kontextspezifische erfolgsförderliche und erfolgshinderliche Bedingungen zu
identifizieren, zu denen etwa formelle und informelle Gesellschaftsbereiche,
lokale, nationale und internationale politische Rahmenbedingungen sowie
Wechselwirkungen zwischen technisch-naturwissenschaftlichen und sozialen
Aspekten gehören.
Dieser Projektentwurf ist eine Kooperationsarbeit des Fachbereichs
Gesellschaftswissenschaften und des ZIAF (Kreide/Ruppert), der Faculty of
Social Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda , mit dem Centre for
Applied Legal Studies (CALS) University of the Witwatersrand,
dem Ethik-Zentrum der Universität Zürich
und dem Départment de Géographie der Université de Montréal.

  The Corporation in Context: New Modes of Corporate Governance and Norm
Compliance at the Local, National and International Levels

Auch dieser Projektvorschlag geht von Menschenrechten als geteiltes Leitbild
der Entwicklung(spolitik) aus, hat aber seinen Schwerpunkt auf den
Bedingungen der Normbefolgung transnationaler Akteure. Ein besonderer Fokus
liegt dabei auf den sozialen und ökonomischen Menschenrechten, die im
Zusammenhang mit arbeitsrechtlichen Fragen (Art der Beschäftigungsverhältnisse,
Entlohnung, Gewerkschaftsarbeit usw.) relevant sind. Im Zentrum der Untersuchung
steht die Frage, welche neuen Formen des Regierens die Befolgung lokaler,
nationaler und internationaler Menschenrechtsregelungen unterstützen oder behindern.
Dieser Frage soll im Projekt am Beispiel der internationalen Baumwollproduktion
nachgegangen werden.