Imagine the Upper Rhine region were hit by an energy crisis in consequence of an area wide and long lasting loss of critical infrastructure! This example illustrates the necessity of a complex approach to risk and security, especially in a context characterised by diversity: transborder risk management requires special knowledge with regard to different organizational settings in administrations and different hierarchies that operate emergency plans. Specific national directives, for example with regard to sustainable development, are expressed in national law and they lead to country-specific criteria for assessing risks. Language is but one cultural variable that may stand in the way of urgent communication in the face of immediate risks. Another is added by socio-psychological variations of risk perception that influence the decision makers as well as the behaviour of citizens in Germany, Switzerland and France. And finally, which social and ethical values in each country set the basis for decisions to prioritize one type of risk over another and to allocate more of the limited social resources to one group’s security rather than to another group’s security?
In its programme for knowledge exchange, Graduate Academy SERIOR allows participants to engage with such issues by discussing projects and ideas also with entrepreneurial, political or civic stakeholders from the Upper Rhine region.