Security in Open Societies

How do emerging forms of security governance transform our public institutions, our communities and our way of life, how can these changes be understood, and what implications do they have for maintaining and strengthening open societies?

Lopende mensen op een brug in de stad.

In a world of asymmetrical conflicts and geopolitical turbulence, the preservation of internal and external security has become a major strategic concern for democratic states. Security concerns now permeate the way in which societies and governments address a wide range of phenomena, ranging from IT innovations and public infrastructure to sports tournaments, shopping centres and major crowd events. These concerns are also related to issues of refugee flows and immigrant populations, as well as geostrategic questions on energy policy or risks to the financial system (rogue money, lack of integrity, end of encryption).

Our main research aim is therefore to understand and analyse how emerging forms of security governance transform our public institutions, our communities and our way of life. Following on from that aim, we ask how these changes can be understood and assessed, how the trade-off between security and privacy can be balanced, and what implications the changes have for maintaining and strengthening the pillars of our open societies: democracy, the rule of law and the quality of government.

Interdisciplinary platform

The IOS-Hub Security in Open Societies aims to offer an independent, interdisciplinary platform for accurate and systematic knowledge on production and coproduction, knowledge-sharing and debate among actors engaged in and affected by new forms of security governance.