Key Research Areas

Security politics and political violence

Our research focuses on issues of security and security politics: We address the question how and by whom security, insecurity and risks are defined, and whose security is considered to be relevant. We analyze security policies, institutions, technologies, and practices from the perspective of critical security studies, including feminist and postcolonial approaches. Additionally, we research the forms, characteristics, causes, processes, and effects of terrorism, extremism, radicalization as well as hybrid threats to Austrian, European and global security. We take different ideological orientations as well as individual, group, and state actors into account.

  • International security regimes and institutions
  • Border politics
  • Gender and security; Women, Peace, and Security
  • Terrorism and anti-terror policies
  • Extremism and radicalization
  • Hybrid threats

Europe and its neighborhood

Our research focuses on the relations between the EU and its immediate neighborhood: the Western Balkan states, Turkey, and the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region. We examine the effects of the EU accession processes, the European Neighborhood Policy, and analyze the foreign policies of these countries towards the EU. We further investigate the societal and political dynamics within these countries with a focus on democratization processes, the factors which contribute to the rise of authoritarian and illiberal forces, the functioning of state and political institutions, as well as their impact on the foreign relations of the respective states.

  • EU enlargement
  • European Neighborhood Policy
  • Foreign and security policy in Turkey, the Balkan and MENA states
  • (De-)Democratization and the rise of neo-authoritarian systems
  • Forms of resistance and civil society engagement
  • Neoliberal interventions and effects on state and statehood
  • Migration policy

Innovation policy in a global context

Globalization and innovation pressure make research, technology, and innovation a dynamic policy field, in which technological and societal developments are being anticipated, designed, and shaped. We investigate strategies of internationalization, sociopolitical challenges, and risks associated with new technologies and their governance in the context of broader social and political discourses and processes. 

  • Relations between innovation, politics, and (in)security
  • Internationalization of research, technology, and innovation
  • Sozio-technical visions and their effect on innovation and technology policies

Regional Focus

Our research is regionally focused on the EU, the Western Balkans, Turkey, and the MENA region. We additionally provide expertise on the role of the USA in the world and Euro-Atlantic relations.

We are connected with partner institutions, researchers, civil society actors, political actors, and media representatives in our focal regions. We cooperate within different platforms as well as international and regional networks, and we conduct in-depth field work within these regions.