29 June 2019

Call for Abstract: How do security technologies sustain, bolster or challenge core Nordic values and political structures?

Ranging from studies of social media, surveillance, algorithms used to create big data to energy technologies we have investigated how those technologies are embedded in everyday social and institutional practices and how they support or challenge Nordic values, such as democratic participation, equal opportunities, and personal freedom. The fundamental assumption has been that security technologies are not value-free, but rather embody and influence Nordic values. In this final conference, we revisit these focal points and point to future trends and theoretical and empirical insights. The first day is dedicated to academic discussion, whereas the second day is dedicated to the view of practitioners. We encourage all participants to take part in both days, if possible.

We would like to invite abstracts for four different academic sessions, debating various themes connected to the work in NordSTEVA over the past five years. The discussion in the sessions will be based on short ‘idea papers’ of up to five pages, which sketch out dilemmas and future challenges connected to the session themes. Please indicate which session in the program below you would like to participate in. The deadline for sending in abstracts is 1st of October 2019 to Trine Villumsen Berling to tvb@cast.ku.dk.


28th of November: 

8.30: Coffee and registration

9.15: Welcome by Professor (WSR) Karen Lund Petersen, Director of NordSTEVA and Associate Professor Trine Villumsen Berling, Team Leader NordSTEVA Copenhagen

9.30: Keynote: (TBA)

10.15: Coffee and networking

10.45-12.45: Parallel breakout sessions: presentation of short ‘idea papers’

(1) Information technology

Original optimism about in the democracy enhancing and emancipatory potential of information technology has been replaced by gloomy doomsday prophecies about allencompassing control and surveillance by states and companies resulting in gross violations privacy and massive manipulation of information, fake news and insulated bubble news that threaten to undermine democracy. This panel presents NordSteva research results regarding how these developments are resisted in view of renegotiation and reinstating a democratic and emancipatory role for Information Technology.

(2) Intelligence

This session looks at emerging Nordic intelligence practices whereby private businesses and public organisations cooperate to improve intelligence results. It raises questions, not only about the efficiency of intelligence processes, but also about changing meanings of authority, responsibility and public engagement in today’s security politics. Furthermore the sessions will focus on the proliferation of intelligence into new domains and contexts.

12.45-13.45 Lunch

13.45-15.45 Parallel breakout sessions: presentation of short ‘idea papers’

(3) Infrastructure

This session looks into how different forms of infrastructure ranging from digital infrastructure to energy technologies morph the Nordic region by interweaving materiality, practices and societal discourses of security, risk and resilience. The session looks at the interconnectedness of infrastructures and how crises might spread between them to the detriment of societal security. The concepts of resilience and societal security will be central to this debate.

(4) Emergency

How is technology changing emergency management, preparedness and collaboration between emergency agencies and private stakeholders and citizens? Is there a special Nordic trajectory, or are we witnessing general trends in emergency practices? Changing concepts of risk, safety, security and responsibility stand at the heart of this discussion as we review new regimes of collaboration as well as new visions for the role of security institutions in society.

15.45-16.15: Coffee and networking

16.15-17.15: Follow-up discussion

17.30-18.30: Live-hacking event

19.00: Dinner at Omar’s, Refsnæsgade 32, 2200 København

29th of November 

Security technologies are changing the way the Nordic societies function. This raises a number of dilemmas for policy and industry practitioners. Cyber security, surveillance, and dual-use technologies offer smart solutions for securing our region, but at the same time raise thorny issues pertaining to core Nordic values. To meet this challenge, the ’NordSTEVA Dilemma Dialogues’ will offer candid talks about current dilemmas facing practitioners. In these four sessions, three to four key practitioners will present us with their view on today's Nordic challenges, leading up to an open debate with the audience on the political implications and solutions for the future.

9.15: Welcome back by Professor (WSR) Karen Lund Petersen, Director of NordSTEVA and Associate Professor Trine Villumsen Berling, Team Leader NordSTEVA Copenhagen

9.30: Keynote (TBA) and Q&A

10.30: Coffee and networking

10.45: Dilemma Dialogue: Information technology and intelligence

Moderator: Kira Vrist Rønn, University College Denmark

In this seminar we will turn to the experiences with the use of ICTs in the practices of the Nordic Intelligence Services. What are the experiences with big data? What are the experiences with the use of social media? What are the pitfalls and the potential value? We turn attention to the many political and moral dilemmas that often appear when ICTs are used as a defensive means of protection (e.g. in relation to collection) and as a means for offensive action against potential enemies.

12.00: Lunch

13.00: Dilemma Dialogue: Emergency and Infrastructure

Moderator: Mark Rhinard, University of Stockholm

72 hours. That is how long a private household has to be able to withstand major breakdowns in critical infrastructure. What is the background for this? What is the status? In light of the current developments in the Nordic countries, including Denmark’s choice of not pursuing this as an open strategy, the issue of resilience and citizens’ responsibility will stand at the heart of this discussion.

14.15: Quick refill

14.30: Closing remarks

15.15: Thank you and goodbye by Professor (WSR) Karen Lund Petersen and Director of NordSTEVA