Contemporary Understanding of Security and Its Contexts

by Paulina Polko (Volume editor) Bernard Wiśniewski (Volume editor)
©2024 Edited Collection 206 Pages


Volatility is one of the most characteristic features of contemporary security.
The level of threats increases or decreases, completely new phenomena appear
and quickly disturb the global balance and threaten the durability of security
systems. This dynamic nature of security verifies both the state and process, as
well as their understanding by researchers.
The monograph refers to key aspects of the contemporary understanding of
security, in its military, political, social, and informational context, as well
as other dimensions. It presents and analyzes the identification criteria and
determinants of security and characterizes the nature of contemporary threats
and the dynamics of their changes. Armed conflicts, terrorism, migration,
digital threats, loss of national identity, and populist use of security categories
to justify the use of extraordinary measures to combat threats are among the
selected areas discussed by the authors. The monograph also raises the issues
of cooperation for security, its management and education for security as a key
activity to ensure it.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Prolegomenon
  • Security Identification Criteria
  • Constructing Security: Securitisation, Riskification and Desecuritisation
  • Contemporary Threat Perceptions
  • Risk Assessment in Security Studies
  • Security Culture: The Unification of the Concepts of Security and Culture
  • Security Management
  • Information Resources as a Means of Security Policy in the Contemporary World
  • Relations Between Migration and Security
  • The Effectiveness of Countering Cross-border Terrorism in the Framework of Global International Police Cooperation
  • The Contemporary Nature of Armed Conflicts
  • The Idea of the European Army in the Security Policy of the European Union: Perspectives and Challenges
  • Education for Security in Europe: Selected Forms and Thematic Areas
  • Conclusions
  • Series Index

Notes on Contributors

Andrzej Czupryński

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Włodzimierz Fehler

University in Siedlce, Siedlce

Karol Kujawa

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Arkadiusz Letkiewicz

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Paweł Lubiewski

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Artur Michalak

War Studies University, Warsaw

Andrzej Pieczywok

Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz

Juliusz Piwowarski

“Apeiron” College of Public and Individual Security, Kraków

Paulina Polko

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Tomasz Safjański

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Robert Socha

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Katarzyna Szczepańska-Woszczyna

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza

Andrzej Wawrzusiszyn

University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn

Bernard Wiśniewski

WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza


When discussing security, one cannot ignore the words of former Bundeswehr inspector and former chairman of the NATO Military Committee Klaus Neuman, who stated that “security is not all there is, but without security, all there is, is nothing”. This statement has become a permanent fixture in the consciousness of politicians, civil servants and security researchers in particular. However, one may understand security, but it is difficult to argue with this claim, as can be seen by observing the emerging and, unfortunately, continuing threats caused by humans, natural forces and the consequences of civilisational development.

In the pursuit of security, the aforementioned social and professional groups take action within their remit to achieve and maintain and, if successful, increase the level of security. It is difficult to speak of a special position of scientists here. Nevertheless, it ought to be borne in mind that their role is reduced to performing tasks that are subservient to the people. This function is understood by the authors of this paper recruited from several Polish academic centres such as WSB University in Dąbrowa Górnicza, University in Siedlce, Jan Kazimierz University in Bydgoszcz, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, War Studies University in Warsaw and “Apeiron” College of Public and Individual Security in Krakow.

In the consensus view of security researchers, the dynamic increase in the level of phenomena that threaten the undisturbed functioning of people raises the demand, indeed the need, for careful and continuous observation of the changing level of their security and its contexts. In the process, numerous studies have been and are being undertaken, the value of which in most cases cannot be overestimated.

The aim of this paper is to succinctly and analytically present reflections on the contemporary understanding of security and its selected contexts. This objective was intended to be achieved by presenting the subjective views of the authors of the individual parts of this work based on the author’s research and the scientific achievements of other researchers presented in a cross-sectional manner. The latter was intended not only to showcase specific contributions but also to provide sources that could be used by the reader who decides to conduct his or her research. In the authors’ opinion, this procedure made their work inherently interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary.

The general objective adopted by the authors influenced the final shape of the main research problem formulated in the form of the question: what place did security occupy and what role did it play in the science and practical activities of the institutions responsible for taking care of it?

The authors felt that the aim of this paper would be achieved and the research problem solved if they used a systemic and situational approach in their study. The former allowed for exposing the relations between security and science. The second, on the other hand, provided an opportunity to focus on the essence of scientifically based security research.

An important problem faced by the authors was to define the issue situation, understood by them as a set of factors triggering reflection and increasing the level of knowledge, and to identify the areas of its deficiency as reflected in the title of the work. Thus, it was assumed that the problem situation formulated for the purposes of the present study would boil down to the current perception of security in a number of scientific disciplines and the consequences arising from this in selected areas of concern.

The preliminary literature survey carried out by the authors of the various parts of the paper indicated that the subjects of their individual reflections required research. The results presented by them do not encapsulate the need and necessity to continue the process. This is all the more so because every security actor, in order to survive and thrive, must have specific directions to improve itself in fulfilling the tasks and social roles assigned to it. This is important for a number of reasons, the main of which are the lack of passivity in the search for optimal solutions to ensure security at a level acceptable to people and an increased awareness of the factors influencing it.

In the course of the research, an analysis and critical appraisal of the scientific literature relating to security, its presence in science and the solutions regulating the security endeavours of institutions set up for this purpose was performed. The authors of the present study analysed publications relating to the subject of their individual reflections. Their conclusions are presented in all parts of the work. They indicate that studies of a scientific and popular-scientific character present results of inquiries having their valuable cognitive basis and utilitarian significance. Due to the multiplicity of these studies, they are not listed in this introduction.

The circumstances outlined above have led the authors to identify relevant detail problems for their deliberations arising from the fact that the operating environment of security entities is undergoing changes necessitating progressive transformation.

The authors adopted individually the subjects of their research assuming that they would study what constitutes value from a social point of view. This made the object of their research, dependent on the subject of the statement, a social reality composed of objects and phenomena.

In presenting the results of the investigations, the authors were guided primarily by the scientific method and the research methods used, the scientific justification of the claims, the coherence between the claims and the knowledge generated from them, criticism of existing wisdom and the research results obtained, and taking only those steps that serve to explain reality.

The authors’ research was related to the assumptions of the scientific method, the organisation of the research process and the selection of methods, techniques and research tools adequate to the problems considered as well as the selection of the research approach. This study consisted of several endeavours that took into account the specificity of the problems under consideration. This resulted in tailor-made research methods. Consequently, a wide range of qualitative research methods and limited quantitative research methods were used.

The result of the assumptions made and the effort undertaken is a work the core of which consists of twelve excerpts, preceded by this introduction and topped by a conclusion. The substantive part addresses the issues of: the contemporary understanding of security, the construction of security, threat perception, risk assessment in security studies, security culture, security management, the use of information resources in state security policy, the relationship between migration and security, the effectiveness of combating cross-border terrorism, the nature of contemporary armed conflicts, the idea of a European army and selected forms and thematic areas of security education in Europe.

The results of the authors’ considerations are a product of the analysis of the literature on the subject, a synthesis of views and practical solutions. The deliberations presented in this paper are also the outcome of the authors’ participation in scientific and didactic undertakings organised by the universities with which the authors are associated and in the past in their work in public administration offices.

However, the authors, aware of the imperfections of their contributions, express the hope that they can be used by all those interested in the problems reflected in their titles and the work as a whole. The study is a collection of scientific research results aspiring to put in order the important problems concerning the subject of consideration reflected in the title of the study. Thus, the authors hope that this publication will contribute to further research in this field.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2024 (July)
security migration terrorism armed conflicts warfare security policy securitization threats
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2024. 206 pp.

Biographical notes

Paulina Polko (Volume editor) Bernard Wiśniewski (Volume editor)

Bernard Wis´niewski is the Director of the Centre for Research Methodology in Security Sciences at the WSB University in Da˛browa Górnicza. He specializes in the following issues: theory and methodology of security, security management, national defence, and internal security of the state. Paulina Polko is an associate professor at the WSB University in Da˛browa Górnicza (Faculty of Applied Sciences) and the head of the Security Studies Department. Her research interests focus on securitization, security policy and new categories of security.


Title: Contemporary Understanding of Security and Its Contexts