Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Gerda Henkel Foundation launches new special programme for security policy research

8. February 2012

logo of Gerda Henkel Foundation

Unusual ideas welcome

Press release by Gerda Henkel Foundation

Is the nation state losing its significance? “Failing states” as safe havens for terrorists and an increase in transnational organised crime in conflict regions seem to indicate this. Yet the multilayered nature of security problems is also leading to an increase in the importance of the state in some areas.

With its new special programme “Security, Society, and the State”, the Gerda Henkel Foundation is staying abreast of these contradictory developments. The Foundation hopes to encourage younger scholars to address unconventional yet central questions. Experienced researchers have the opportunity to work intensively on a particular research aspect for a limited period of time. The programme is aimed at humanities scholars and social scientists from all disciplines. The application deadline is 16 July, 2012. The Gerda Henkel Foundation provides up to €600,000 annually for the “Security, Society, and the State” programme.

“There are only a few private foundations in Europe that support links between security-related basic research and concepts for actual political application,” says Dr Michael Hanssler, Chairman of the Gerda Henkel Foundation Executive Board. “Yet the subject deserves more attention. Having first been involved for three years in selected projects on conflict research in the form of operational support, we have now further developed the research field into an open support programme.” Professor Wolfgang Seibel from the University of Konstanz, one of the programme’s academic coordinators, adds:

“For instance, efficient administration can be just as relevant to security issues as a functioning military or secret services. Internal and external security are interlinked, but the state is always a key player.”

Academic coordination is the responsibility of scholars from the Centers of Excellence “The cultural foundations of social integration” at the University of Konstanz and “The formation of normative orders” at Goethe University, Frankfurt as well as King’s College, London. The complete programme announcement is available online: