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Multivariate statistics of security perceptions in Europe

: Lieberz, Daniela


Information & Security 33 (2015), No.2, pp.138-166
ISSN: 0861-5160
ISSN: 1314-2119
European Commission EC
FP7; 605142; EvoCS
Journal Article
Fraunhofer INT ()
perception of security; risks; political level; desk research; political instability; social instability; Structural Equation Modelling; statistical analysis; comparative analysis; European states; political actors

A range of methods were applied to evaluate and understand security perceptions across five European countries. Eight dimensions of the security perception were assessed, namely physical safety, territorial integrity, environmental and ecological security, cultural identity, social stability, political stability, economic prosperity, and information and cyber security. Their evaluation and prioritisation was performed using the Perception Security Matrix representation. Statistical methods—contingency tables, functional analysis and structural equation modelling—were applied to explain the relationships between the dimensions and their dependencies on risk categories. Three basic principles were derived: “freedom from want” related to economic and environmental conditions, “freedom from instability” as determined by social and political issues, and “freedom from fear,” meaning freedom from war, terrorism and aggressiveness, and related also to the integrity of the private sphere. These general principles manifest themselves differently in different countries determined by specific political, social, cultural, and economic context.