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The evolving concept of security: A critical evaluation across four dimensions

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Ideas of EU security

An EU team considered the changing ways Europeans conceptualise security. The study produced a new analytical framework, plus recommendations for policy change drawn from commonalities among states.

Industrial Technologies

The EU-funded EVOCS (The evolving concept of security: A critical evaluation across four dimensions) project considered Europe's evolving concept of security, examining how such notions affect the EU and its neighbours. Research addressed particular dimensions of the topic, including core values, actors, levels of security, ethics and challenges. The investigation involved using case studies to compare four regions of the EU. Researchers analysed over 4 000 government, media and academic documents. The first phase involved coding items dating between 2013 and 2014, in relation to the project's key dimensions. A second stage involved non-coding analysis of documents from 2004 to 2013, intended to place the coded results into a broad historical context. Investigators combined the dimensional coding with a qualitative subjective approach. Such steps yielded a comprehensive viewpoint of how European notions of security have changed. One of the project's main results was a new analytical framework to comparatively analyse security perceptions of countries and regions. A second major result was recommendations for policy change, derived from stakeholder discussions. The recommendations focus on commonalities among analysed countries, related to the evolving security concepts for each region. Such recommendations were presented at various events and gatherings, and published in journals and books. EVOCS outcomes have led to increased interest in the topic of EU security among the academic community. The work may also translate to effective policy initiatives at the EU level.


Security perception, policy change, evolving concept of security, ethics, analytical framework, core values

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