Sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung
The research project concerns the relationship between freedom and security in Europe during the "short" twentieth century (1914–1989). Forms of social and political action as well as semantic and discursive construction will constitute the two central axes of analysis. In addition, the project will focus on (1) dissidents and enemy aliens during wartime, (2) political radicalization and terrorism, and (3) requirements of social security within various European states.
This project differs from other studies of freedom and security in three primary respects. First, it treats the two topics together, rather than separately. Second, it includes a transnational dimension that compares how actors in various states discussed the balance between freedom and security. These discussions will be analyzed with regard to the ways that other states perceived them and selectively borrowed from or rejected them. Third, this project has bearing not only on relevant historical research but also on political and social discussions about the relationship between freedom and security. Contemporary controversies, especially those that have developed since the terror attacks of September 11, can thus be historically contextualized.