Higher Education and the Changing Situation of Societal Security in the Baltic Sea Region
Volume 8, Issue 2 (2022), pp. 83–129
Pub. online: 27 October 2022 Type: Research Article Open Access
24 June 2022
24 June 2022
4 October 2022
4 October 2022
27 October 2022
27 October 2022
While concepts like risk and crisis management have grown ubiquitous at all levels of government, they have also cemented their place in academia as interdisciplinary fields of study in higher education. In the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), these types of educational programmes are typically labelled under the umbrella term ‘societal security’ in English. This article provides a succinct depiction of the state of the art of societal security in higher education in this region. After a brief introduction of the concept, the article comprehensively analyses second level degree programmes (master’s equivalent) in this field. Particularly, four conceptual and thematic areas appear to constitute the core of societal security degree programmes, though in different combinations and under a variety of labels, those being risk, crisis management, safety management, and resilience. We note, however, that these concepts and their respective research objectives exhibit extensive overlaps. This paradigm reflects how the field of societal security has emerged and evolved through a combination of different disciplinary and interdisciplinary traditions that closely follow changing policy needs. It is concluded, conceptual difficulties notwithstanding, that a common, or at least a more shared, understanding of what constitutes societal security in the BSR has emerged and continues to develop, particularly in its so-called functional understanding. This situation allows for truly transnational learning, and in so doing, also enhances cross-border cooperation in educating and training the next generation of risk and crisis managers in the BSR and beyond.
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