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"It'll Turn Your Heart Black You Can Trust": Angst, Sicherheit und Ethik


  • Regina Ammicht Quinn
  • Benjamin Rampp


The process of establishing security often incorporates (proactive) actions which affect the basic areas of human life, whether in restricting freedom or in reformulating "privacy". This impact of security practises leads to the necessity of ethical reflection in the field of security. Such ethical reflection, its terms and conditions are the subject of this contribution. The following paper explains how ethical reflection can function in a critical way; it shows how a normative base for solving conflicts arising from security technologies can be established; and it reflects on the challenge how to integrate a society's discourses on basic values and basic rights into the field of "security". In a first step, the cultural discourse of fear, which underlies the security discourses, will be discussed. In a second step, the concept of security, its implications and its generation is analyzed. Based on these reflections the ways of ethical reasoning and argumentation in the context of security discourses will be discussed. Finally we will outline how the complex questions of security, risk and fear can be handled effectively, lastingly and ethically. Die Herstellung von Sicherheit inkorporiert häufig (proaktives) Handeln, das in die Grundbereiche menschlichen Lebens eingreift, ob als Einschränkung von Freiheiten oder als Neuformulierung dessen, was als "Privatheit" verstanden wird. Damit ist der Bereich der Sicherheit ein grundlegend ethisch zu reflektierender. Eine solche ethische Reflexion und ihre Bedingungen sind das Thema des vorliegenden Beitrags. Der Text erläutert, wie vor allem im Bereich proaktiven Sicherheitshandelns die ethische Reflexion eine ideologiekritische Funktion haben kann; in welcher Weise in der Ethik eine normative Grundlage für die Diskussion um Sicherheitstechniken gebildet und wie die Rechts- und Wertediskurse einer Gesellschaft in den Bereich der "Sicherheit" eingebunden werden können. Dazu wird zunächst der den Sicherheitsdiskursen unterliegende kulturelle Diskurs der Angst thematisiert und der Sicherheitsbegriff, seine Implikationen und seine Herstellung reflektiert. Danach wird nach den Argumentationsformen einer Ethik im Kontext der Sicherheitsdiskurse gefragt und abschließend skizziert, wie mit dem Komplex eines Sicherheits-Risiko-Angst-Diskurses umgegangen werden kann.

Suggested Citation

  • Regina Ammicht Quinn & Benjamin Rampp, 2009. ""It'll Turn Your Heart Black You Can Trust": Angst, Sicherheit und Ethik," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(4), pages 136-149.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-4-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Dealing with Terrorism – Stick or Carrot?," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3435.
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    More about this item


    Ethics; security; fear;

    JEL classification:

    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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