Workshop on Democratic Security


Security is often seen as a problem for or even as opposed to democracy, for example through governmental prerogatives or discourses of existential threats. The widening and deepening of security as well as its growing importance as a public value and political narrative has not only justified new security measures and powers for security agencies; it also facilitated new practices of deliberation, accountability, contestation and control. The field now includes a broader variety of actors, arenas and arguments. In addition to rather mundane and well-established practices, such as parliamentary oversight, there are efforts to transfer new and innovative formats of public debate, consultation and evaluation to the security field. However, we still do not understand very well how these manifold political practices actually unfold and how they affect the democratic quality of security policy and politics.

In the context of the EISA European Workshops in International Studies, which had to take place in a digital format this year, Hendrik Hegemann together with Tara McCormack (Leicester University) organized a workshop on “Democratic Security: Concepts, Practices, Consequences”. The international group of participants discussed overarching theoretical and normative questions of democratic security, but also covered specific empirical cases from various areas. Overall, the workshop especially underlined the need for a differentiated analysis, that makes explicit its respective understandings and standards of democracy and reflects upon their context-dependent manifestations and ramifications.

Find the programme here.