Technology and Global Security



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At the latest with the Ukraine war, geopolitics has moved back into the focus of public attention. In academia, too, there has been a renewed awareness that international security and research, teaching and innovation are mutually influential. This "turning point" not only brings questions about the future of international cooperation to the fore, but also more generally about the responsibility and possible contributions of scientists to security and peace. At the same time, technological developments are becoming increasingly rapid and complex. Moreover, intricate interrelationships are emerging between technological development and international security, which go beyond the availability and control of weapons systems. Infrastructure development, for example, is seen under a new sign of dependency. Autonomy appears here as a security reserve. Thus, questions of stabilisation and de-stabilisation of collective orders must be taken into account, which also become questions of technological sovereignty. These forms of blurring boundaries bring in a considerable dynamisation. Research, innovation and industrial policy issues thus become security policy issues as well.

The aim of this field of activity is to promote a differentiated understanding of the impact of science and technology on security and peace in research and teaching by means of interdisciplinary collaboration throughout the university. It is dedicated to the role of technology for cooperative international security. Relevant topics include conventional and nuclear arms control and verification, the detection of biological or chemical warfare agents and their control. Beyond this narrower circle of security-relevant research, the focus is on security architectures that address the various interfaces of scientific and technological development with security policy. How should cyber-attacks be dealt with and the possible influence of emergent technologies on conflicts be assessed?

The current focus of this field of activity is the development of a concept for a center for scientific peace research. On the one hand, it aims to develop peacebuilding technologies - such as those for monitoring international arms control and peace agreements. On the other hand, it is to be dedicated to dealing with the potential for misuse of security-relevant research ("dual-use").