Professor, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (Austria)
Markus Pausch is Professor at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (Social Work/Social Innovation) and lecturer at the FU Berlin. As a political scientist and democracy researcher, he leads projects on various issues of democracy, currently including Resilience Through Education for Democratic Citizenship, funded by Council of Europe and EU Commission. As an external expert, he advises various institutions in projects on democratic innovations and polarisation in all stages from application to evaluation. He is associate member of the UNESCO PREV Chair and member of the editorial board of the Journal Comparative Political Theory. Recent publications include The future of polarisation: Relative cosmopolitanism and democracy (European Journal of Futures Research 2021) and Democratic Innovations Against Polarisation in Europe (2020, Nomos).
Do you have any specific hopes or predictions for the future of urban security? (What will urban security look like in 30 years? What will be the main opportunities and risks?)
The future of urban security in Europe depends on global developments as much as on European, national and local decisions. The climate crisis, social inequality and polarisation will be reflected in cities, but they are also the place where innovative solutions to these problems can be developed, at least in part. Whether the advancing digitalisation will be used to create a surveillance society or to strengthen democracy will also be decided in the municipalities.
Why do you think it is so important to involve citizens in urban security practice?
The involvement of citizens is not only a democratic necessity, it is also the only chance to make legitimate decisions and to be able to solve the major problems on a broad basis. People’s trust in institutions and elites has recently been severely affected. It can only be regained by taking citizens seriously and offering them broad opportunities to have their say. Failure to do so risks a retreat from the public sphere, an increase in political violence and a deterioration in social cohesion.