Forschungsstelle für Sicherheitspolitik

ETH Zürich

Mailing address:

Forschungsstelle für Sicherheitspolitik
ETH Zürich
Weinbergstr. 11
CH-8001 Zürich
Phone: +41 (0) 44 632 40 25
Fax: +41 (0) 44 632 19 41
Phone: +41 (0) 44 632 40 25
Fax: +41 (0) 44 632 19 41

related to the Institute/Department

Research Focus of the Institute:

New or newly recognized vulnerabilities of modern societies and the rising complexity of causal circles involving various kinds of risks call for an intensified international dialogue and more co-operation in the field of national risk profiling – to be undertaken in an open structure, and not a hierarchical one. A new knowledge, a better understanding of new risks, their causes, interactions, probabilities and costs is needed. The «Comprehensive Risk Analysis and Management Network» (CRN) is a future-oriented initiative launched by Switzerland (Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich) and Sweden (SEMA, The Swedish Emergency Management Agency) to cope with the complexity and multidimensionality of the threats we are facing in this age of uncertainty. As a sub-network related to the ISN, CRN contains methodologies, procedures, tools and case studies for the risk profiling process on a national, subnational (cantonal) and local level. It provides open and free of charge access to information covering the full range of existential risks for modern societies. The project is supported by the Swiss Government as an official part of Switzerland's participation in Partnership for Peace (PfP).

Due to a widened threat scale and the diminishing capabilities of knowledge societies to handle their vulnerabilities on a unilateral, national basis international action is needed. But action must follow understanding. And understanding is created by asking questions: What does «risk» mean for a knowledge society? Why are developed countries like Switzerland or Sweden more vulnerable nowadays than they used to be in the 20th century? What criteria characterize a threat as «existential» for a modern state? What infrastructure is «critical» for us?

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