Project 4 „Resilience Processes in the Face of Disruptive Phenomena. On the Societal Perception of Security Policies and Terrorist Threats“

The current resilience discourse ties in with contemporary discussions on societal scenarios of insecurity, paradigmatically reflected in the (fear of) terrorist threats to (‘western’) societies. It is the overall aim of the project to comprehensively analyze the discussions on these societal scenarios of insecurity with regard to their resilience-analytical contours and potentials. A twofold empirical approach will be employed: On the one hand the field of security policy will be analyzed, in continuation and extension of the knowledge-sociological study in the first funding phase. On the other hand, the interpretative patterns, which serve as guiding ideas of security in policies and practices in the context of counterterrorism, will be investigated with the aid of the analytical dimensions developed by the research group, of resilience strategies, resilience dispositions, and resilience resources. The project consists of two complementary studies. Component study 1 (‘Resilience as a concept of societal self-perception in the field of security policy’) aims at a case study in the context of the overarching objective to develop a sociology of knowledge with regard to resilience. It analyzes the interpretative patterns which structure the security policies of professional political actors. Component study 2 (‘Security policy and resilience in times of (fear of) terrorism in public-media discourse’) is systematically interrelated with this analysis and aims – again in a knowledge-sociological perspective – at an investigation of the public-media discourse on security policies in the context of counterterrorism. Both studies together constitute an integral element in the sociological theoretical work on resilience and contribute to the development of an overarching sociology of knowledge with regard to resilience as a concept of societal self-perception. They are thus closely related to Project 3 (‘Theory of Resilience’) and help to contour the social-constructionist approach of the research group as a whole. The systematic linkage between theoretical and conceptual analyses of the research group on the one hand and knowledge-sociological reflections on the other will facilitate the methodological awareness to the historicity of social-constructionist explorations in a twofold manner: with regard to empirical-historical investigations as well as with respect to the theoretical and comparative-typological endeavours of the research group.