Report on human values in threat analysis

Report – other

Lidén, Kristoffer & Ben Hayes (2015) Report on human values in threat analysis. SOURCE Deliverables: 6. SOURCE Virtual centre of excellence for research support and coordination on societal security.

This is the first report in Work Package 6 Ethics, Law and Human Rights in the SOURCE project. It includes contributions by Médéric Martin-Mazé (KCL), Roger Von Laufenberg (VICESSE) and Reinhard Kreissl (VICESSE) as well as the main authors.

Summary: This report aims to clarify the role of values in the conceptualisation of security in threat analyses in the different sectors of the overall security landscape in Europe. This is done on the basis of analyses of official documents, policy pronouncements, literature reviews and interviews. It is argued that the connection between values and threats often remains unclear in security strategies and risk assessments referring to values like human rights, democracy and the rule of law for their justification. In want of common operationalisations of these values, it results in a great variety of risk assessments where the value impact of risks is evaluated differently. As a basis for security policy, there is therefore a need for making the normative judgments involved in the analyses more explicit. The authors of this report highlight two basic dimensions of such value judgments, related to questions of universalism vs. relativism and individualism vs. collectivism. These are exemplified by cases of refugee management and everyday security. Against this background, the landscape of European threat analysis is then reviewed, including a new type of national risk assessments prescribed by EU regulations on disaster risk management.

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