Le Temps: Ce que signifie concrètement la politique de sécurité Suisse 

La politique Suisse de sécurité ne se résume pas à ceux qui en écrivent ses rapports. Une analyse du travail au quotidien de ses acteurs, au contact avec les défis sécuritaires de notre temps, permet de brosser le tableau d’un univers de plus en plus interconnecté et en pleine expansion. Un projet de recherche financé par le Fonds national pour la recherche scientifique (FNS) montre qu’en effet, les questions migratoires et de terrorisme constituent aujourd’hui le centre de gravité de la sécurité Suisse, et que ceci fait basculer le champ professionnel et institutionnel vers la gestion de menaces transnationales.

Davidshofer, Stephan; Tawfik, Amal; Wenger, Andreas; Hagmann, Jonas; Wildi, Lisa (2016). Ce que signifie concrètement la politique de sécurité Suisse. Le Temps, 20 December: 10. PDF

NZZ Artikel über die Bedrohungsarbeit, nationale und internationale Vernetzung der Sicherheitsbehörden

Ein Forschungsprojekt liefert erstmals umfassende Einblicke in die Schweizer Sicherheitspolitik, wie sie tagtäglich von Praktikern umgesetzt wird. Wer arbeitet heute mit wem wie intensiv zusammen – und zu welchen Gefahren? Die empirische Momentaufnahme zeigt auf, wie sich das sicherheitspolitische Gesamtsystem vom klassischen Fall der militärischen Landesverteidigung entfernte und heute stark auf Gefahren der globalen Mobilität – Migration und Terrorismus insbesondere – fokussiert. Diese Neuausrichtung wird von neuen landesweiten und grenzübergreifenden Kooperationspraktiken begleitet. Dabei zeigt sich im Bereich der inneren Sicherheit eine besonders ausgeprägte Internationalisierung der Sicherheitsarbeit sowohl von Bund als auch Kantonen. Gleichzeitig wandeln sich die Berufsprofile und Karrierewege der im Politikfeld tätigen Praktiker. Internationale Erfahrungen, akademische Ausbildung, militärische Grade und weitere Kompetenzen werden von verschiedenen Teilbereichen des Arbeitsbereichs neu bewertet.

Hagmann, Jonas; Wenger, Andreas; Wildi, Lisa; Davidshofer, Stephan; Tawfik, Amal (2016). Sicherheit als Verbundaufgabe: Veränderte Bedrohungsszenarien stellen den Bund und die Kantone vor grosse Herausforderungen. Neue Zürcher Zeitung 248, 24 October: 12. PDF

C&C piece on the measurement of national security fields (out now)

The emergence of a transnational field of security in Europe constitutes a stimulating new observation to security studies research. However, the operationalization of such research is challenging. Notably, time-consuming data collection and data analysis is required to fully comprehend the complex characteristics and resources of a security field’s manifold actors. Drawing on a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), this article offers a substantive analysis of the contemporary dynamics of the Swiss national security field, and it presents some practical ‘tools’ for researchers interested in producing empirical studies of transnational fields of security in Europe. To do so, the article mobilises multiple correspondence analysis, principal component analysis, network analysis and other statistical or statistics-based methods to assess the europeanisation of the Swiss security field.


Davidshofer, Stephan; Tawfik, Amal; Hagmann, Jonas (2016). Analyse du champ de la sécurité en Suisse : vers une hypertrophie de la sécurité intérieure et autres réflexions méthodologiques. Cultures & Conflits 102 (2016/2): 59-93. PDF

Research stay at Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Economiques et Sociales, Université de Marrakech

From 1 November 2016 – 30 January 2017, I will be a Visiting Scholar at the Groupe de Recherche sur la Stratégie et la Sécurité, Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Economiques et Sociales, Université de Marrakech. The research stay serves to connect to local urban and security studies specialists, and to conduct field research on the reconfiguration of urban security management in different sub-city laboratories, the Souks des Ferblantiers, the Place Djemaa el-Fna, the Gare Routière, and the Quartier de Guéliz.

Pro Helvetia/Swiss Arts Council mandate: How to secure a country

Since winter 2015, I am counselling a Pro Helvetia Förderprojekt in visual arts. The project is developed by photographer Salvatore Vitale, and seeks to capture practices of contemporary national security management in Switzerland. Under the title How to secure a country, he visualises standard operating procedures of national danger management broadly defined – the control of borders, people, goods, urban spaces, mobility and so on. By focusing on manuals for professional security production, and their practical implementation in the field, he lends attention to – and displays in new ways – the difficult and bureaucratic rationalisation of the fluid thing termed ‘(in-)security’.


For more information and early results of this project, visit Salvatore Vitale’s website or read his interview for American Suburb X.


Research stay at Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, University of Cambridge

From 15 August – 30 October 2016, I will be a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge. One goal of this stay is to connect to local urban and security studies specialists, and to refine the analytical framework of my ongoing SNSF Ambizione enquiry into the global politics and practices of urban protection. Another aim is to design a collaborative research project with Dr Wendy Pullan on the politics of memorializing genocide in the City of Kigali, an upcoming case study city.

Recruitment: Research Assistant in Political Science/Urban Studies

In support of my SNSF research grant on the politics and practices of urban protection in the Global South, I am looking for a Research Assistant in Political Science/Urban Studies, to be based at ETH Zürich’s new Institute of Science, Technology and Policy. The candidate should have a BA degree in social science (International Relations, political science, sociology or other), urban studies or urban planning. Her/his main tasks include the production of literature reviews on urban politics, security dispositives and transnational networks, as well as desk-based research on city case studies in Morocco, Nepal, and Rwanda. Click here for further information about the recruitment. Deadline for applications is 25 February 2016.

SNSF/RFH research project on ‘international teaching’ in Russia, Canada, and Switzerland

How are civil servants educated in international politics in the East, in the West, and in-between? The Swiss National Science Fundation and the Russian Foundation for Humanities decided to co-fund a comparative two-year investigation into the contents and practices of teaching world politics at academic and professional schools in Russia, Canada and Switzerland. The project starts in 2016 and ends in 2019,  brings together a team of scholars from Russia, Canada and Switzerland, and is jointly led by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

SNSF Ambizione Fellowship on the politics of urban protection

Cities are or have become the key locales of everyday life. Since a few years now, the majority of the world’s inhabitants is living in cities, and with this the protection of ‘the urban’ has become an ever more important challenge: The securing of the city, i.e. the development of comprehensive security dispositives specifically targeted to urban habitats, has become a pressing policymaker issue, and it now also emerges as a new research topic in international security studies. This 2016-2019 Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione research project, institutionally attached to ETH Zürich’s new Institute of Science, Technology and Policy, contributes to this new security studies focus on cities. Based on a comparative empirical analysis of urban protection policies and practices in Switzerland, Morocco, Rwanda and Nepal, it examines how urban security dispositives are turned towards an integrated management of local, national and international dangers of all sorts. It analyses how this process includes use of new tools and actors, and integration and internationalization of existing ones, and how it is influenced by political systems, technological access, cultural influences and traditions of urban planning.