The Security Paradox in Domestic and Foreign Policy: What Should We Do When Perceptions of (In)Security Don’t Align with Reality?




05:00 p.m. (UTC)

 Demonstrators hold placard
© Reuters / Marius Bosch
 Demonstrators hold placard
© Reuters / Marius Bosch

  • How people perceive levels of violence and criminality in society often differs from what the statistics show. This paradox has grave consequences for both domestic and foreign policy, and it can lead to dangerous or discriminatory decision-making. For example, an older woman may fear criminality and violence more than a young man, even though in Germany, statistically, the latter is more likely to be affected by them. In the Central African Republic, Mbororo shepherds are branded as fomenters of violence by certain vocal actors, even though these livestock herders have been interacting peacefully with the non-nomadic population for decades.

    Based on recent publications dealing with the topic in Germany (Judith Eckert: Gesellschaft in Angst? Transcript, 2019) and in Africa (Tim Glawion: The Security Arena in Africa. Cambridge University Press, 2020), this GIGA Talk brings together research and political practice in a dialogue to discuss how such security paradoxes at home and abroad can be recognised and, with smart policies, resolved.


    Dr. Judith Eckert is a Academic staff member at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

    Dr. Christian Klos is Head of the Public Security Department at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Homeland Security.

    Dr. Tim Glawion is Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs.

    Christian Resch is responsible for fundamental questions of crisis engagement and international stabilisation policy, guidelines of the Federal Government, communication at the Federal Foreign Office.


    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach is Lead Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies.


    Online event, Berlin



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