Key Research Areas:

Security politics


Our research focuses on issues of security and security politics: we address the questions of 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.

  • Security Regimes
  • Anti-Terror and Security Policies
  • Extremism, Radicalization and Terrorism
  • Hybrid Threats
  • Security Technologies
  • Border Politics
  • Gender and security; Women, Peace, and Security


Europe’s relations with the neighborhood and the world


Our research focuses on the EU’s relations with states in its immediate neighborhood (the Western Balkans, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East), as well as with China, the USA and the Global South. We examine how EU accession processes, the European Neighborhood Policy and the EU’s foreign policy instruments work, are discussed and perceived in the partner states and what foreign policy they pursue towards the EU.

  • EU accession processes
  • EU Neighborhood Policy
  • Euro-Mediterranean relations
  • Migration
  • Transnationalism and diaspora policy
  • Transatlantic relations
  • Sino-European relations


Democracy, autocratization and foreign policy


Democracies around the world are facing multiple challenges. Our research deals with democracy, democratization and reform movements as well as the background to the rise of populist, illiberal and authoritarian forces and their impact on the functioning of state and political institutions. We also examine whether and how populism and autocratization affect the shaping of foreign policy and international relations.

  • Processes of autocratization
  • Authoritarian populist regimes
  • Nationalism
  • Opposition and social/protests movements
  • State, statehood and governance


Multilateralism and the world of geopolitics


The liberal world order is in flux. Emerging international and regional actors are challenging the dominance of the West and Western-style institutions. Multilateral organizations such as the UN, the OSCE, but also NATO are facing major challenges. Our research starts here and examines the impact of these changes on various levels of international politics. It addresses the question of the future of international organizations and the international system and examines the implications for warfare and peacebuilding. We also examine the economic, social, and systemic drivers behind geopolitics. We take a critical approach that sees power politics as the outcome of cultural, social, economic, and political processes.

  • The Future of international organisations
  • The international order / international law
  • War and peace building
  • Geopolitics / power politics
  • Transatlantic partnership


Regional Focus

The oiip has many years of expertise in the following regions and countries:

  • Western Balkans
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Turkey
  • China
  • Indo-Pacific
  • USA

We additionally provide expertise on the role of the USA in the world and Euro-Atlantic relations.

We follow social, societal, and political trends and developments and collaborate with partner institutions, researchers, civil society actors, political actors, and media representatives in our focal regions. We are member to different research networks such as EuroMesco, the CATS network, BiEPAG, as well as a partner of the International Studies Association (ISA).