The Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) is an independent research facility at the University of Hamburg. Its work focuses on the concept of an effective and consistent security policy that is centred on peace. As well as academic research, the IFSH provides political consulting services.

Research Team

The IFSH acts as coordinator for the joint research project PiraT and provides for its political security analysis and conceptional research. The joint project-leaders are Dr. Hans-Georg Ehrhart (head of ZEUS and Dr. Patricia Schneider, who also is the project coordinator. She will work on the project in collaboration with the research associate Kerstin Petretto, M.A. Both will be supported by Eckhard Schlopsna, who is responsible for communication tools such as the construction of the project website. Student assistant, Christina Till will also be part of the team.


The goal of the IFSH is to refine risk models for security analysis, in order to identify the level of maritime insecurity and based on this, to isolate starting points for a coordinated approach to effective risk reduction.

Furthermore, the IFSH will analyse and enhance coordination-processes between relevant key actors by making critical use of the “Security Governance” approach. As project coordinator, IFSH will organise all the meetings necessary for the merging of the sub-projects, maintain the communication platform and the website as well as take over the editorial tasks for joint publications.

The research objectives for the sub-project are:

(a) The problem-specific conceptualization of risk models for security analysis in order to jointly develop improved indicators for successful identification of risks at sea.

(b) The development of indicators, whose aim it is to examine all of the individual political science aspects and to concretize them in the course of empirical sub-studies which deal with actors and the context for their actions.

(c) Problem-specific preparation and enhancement of pivotal concepts of “Security Governance” which should serve as a foundation for the development of coordinated courses of action and provide an analytical framework for the management of highly complex risk constellations.

(d) The development of optimized security solutions, i.e. state and non-state courses of action and the most effective coordination possible as part of a final package of measures.