Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

Research Area B: Security Cultures and Institutional Strategic Capacity

Security policy challenges are often in problematic tension with the institutional components of the national security culture. This can be illustrated by reference to the international efforts at stabilization in Afghanistan. The Atlantic alliance has substantial difficulties formulating and implementing an integrated strategy which all NATO member-states can agree to with respect to counterinsurgency, anti-terror, stabilization and reconstruction measures. This leads to the fundamental question whether NATO member-states are at all capable at present of taking a common course of action, especially one which influences the development of sufficient institutional capacities for creating stable national state structures in Afghanistan. The mission in Afghanistan is instead shaped by the different strategic emphases of the nations involved in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Here as well different security cultures likely will have an impact. While members of the alliance such as the United States and Great Britain perceived the Afghanistan deployment from the beginning as an anti-terror operation, countries like Germany and Italy emphasized aspects of stabilization and reconstruction. A logic of compromise based on a principle of consensus was the practical result. However, the German capacity to contribute to the ISAF operation remains limited. The comprehensive approach called for in the federal government’s 2006 Security and Defence White Paper, giving equal weight to political, economic and military dimensions in stabilizing modern protectorates, remains a theoretical construct with little applicability.

These are exemplary problems of institution-based strategic capacity. On the one hand, classic reform problems - competition for limited resources, departmental egotisms, veto-player behavior - are reflected in the relative inability of individual states to adapt their institutional tools to the requirements of modern protectorates. On the other hand, though, there is sufficient evidence for assuming that some countries master the realignment better than others and that this has something to do with the specific institutional components of their security cultures. Research area B will examine the tensions between national security cultures and institution-based strategic capacities.

to page research group "conflict generators"

to page research area A "discourses about modern protectorates"