Building a Resilient Society
“On July 22, 2011, a car bomb blasted Oslo’s government quarter, killing eight people and injuring 10. Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik’s improvised explosive device filled the streets with glass and debris. The attack demonstrated that even in presumably secure countries, severely adverse events can happen. Thus, our societies need to ensure the security of their citizens. Civil security research is one way to do that.
Within the last few years a new term has gained prominence in security research: resilience. People, societies and infrastructure shall become resilient, rather than secure. But what does resilience mean? And is there a difference between security and resilience? This article makes a point that, yes, there are indeed differences.
Mainly, resilience means systematically and holistically approaching security problems by linking necessary expertise from all fields of science and practice. The key word is holistic (Scharte et al. 2014b: 119). Conversely, security is often linked with robust and rather static solutions...”
Excerpt from Klaus Thoma and Benjamin Scharte, “Building a Resilient Society,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 6, No. 1, 2015: 30-35.
Dr. Klaus Thoma is a consultant for several German ministries. His expertise is in defense and security research, materials science and numerical modeling. Since 2002 he has been chairman of the Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security and since 1996 has been director at the Fraunhofer Society, where he heads the Ernst-Mach-Institut. In 1994 he became professor at the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the Technical University of Munich.
Benjamin Scharte has worked as a research associate at the Strategic Management department of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, Freiburg, Germany, since 2012. He specializes in resilience research with a focus on resilience engineering and the relation between resilience and sustainability. He received a master’s degree in political science, communication science and economics from the University of Mainz.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.