Joint Project: Sicherheitsmentalitäten im ländlichen Raum (SIMENTA)
(Mentalities of Security in Rural Areas)

The social and cultural transformations of late modernity (e.g. individualization, globalization, growing cultural diversity) change public understandings of social order, crime and social control. Examinations of public cultures of security commonly address an urban/ metropolitan context, leaving security in relation to small towns and rural regions under-researched.  The joint research project “Sicherheitsmentalitäten im ländlichen Raum” (SIMENTA; Mentalities of Security in Rural Areas, 2012-2015) is a study on the specific mentalities of security in rural areas and (informal) mechanisms of social control in Germany.

The main goal of SIMENTA is the empirical analysis and categorization of rural sensibilities towards crime and security by different social actors (eg. citizens, administration staff, politicians, police officers, professional social workers, probation officers, and other professionals involved in crime prevention or private security). At same time the research focuses on rural forms of integration in local contexts, and the practices of organizing the formal and informal mechanisms of social control on a neighborhood level. With a reference to the sensitizing concept of the so called mentalities of security, the researchers develop a new theoretical framework. This framework attempts to facilitate a deeper understanding of the specifics of rural regions in Germany. For this, enterprise data generated by different qualitative and quantitative methods (such as discourse analysis, focus groups, narrative and quantitative interviews, statistical analysis) are triangulated.

SIMENTA refers to central aspects of the research program “Security Research – Research for Civil Security” (“Security Economics and Security Architecture” in the call “Social Dimensions of Security Research II”) by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and is part of the Federal Government´s High-Tech Strategy.

Contact & Coordination

Prof. Dr. Nina Oelkers

Fakultät I
Driverstraße 22
49377 Vechta

Tel: +49 (0) 4441 15 615