Subproject B03 — Confessional minorities as a security problem in the early modern era
Francois Dubois: Bartholomäusnacht (ca. 1572)
The subproject B03 “Confessional minorities as a security problem in the early modern era” is based on the assumption that confessional minorities and denominational conflicts themselves were not a security threat but only became a security threat over the course of discursive processes under certain conditions. Under this assumption, there were specific actors that had an interest in addressing the conflicts from the aspect of “security”, i.e. securitising them in the sense of a special research area.
The concept of securitisation is organised within the sub-project as a historical analysis category based on two historical case studies. Research project I (Wenzel) addresses the religious wars in France in the 16th century, while research project II (Fink) addresses the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th and 17th centuries. Based on each of these case studies, it is investigated which actors drove forward or implemented securitisation processes under which conditions and with which objectives, and which consequences this had for conflict development and conflict resolution. The issue of security dilemmas, i.e. situations in which the securitisation of conflicts and attempts at creating security did not increase security but, by contrast, posed new security risks, also plays a role in this. This poses questions, particularly in relation to religion, theology and primarily political possible courses of action such as in the form of a transition from an eschatological hope of salvation to politically (and, if necessary, militarily) enforced plans for the future, equally on the part of the minorities themselves and on the part of state actors.
The subproject also addresses the mutual interaction of internal and external security, as minorities were often perceived as a trigger for interventions or used as an argument for an intervention. Based on an analysis of securitisation processes in France and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th and 17th centuries, the sub-project thus looks at the history of security in relation to confessional minorities from two sides: On the one hand, the approach enables the subject of minorities as a security risk to be analysed innovatively; on the other hand, the question of which specific security needs confessional minorities themselves had and expressed can be examined, whereby the question of the situational semantics of “security” (as well as “sûreté” and “obwarowanie”) is also posed. In doing so, the sub-project inevitably breaks away from the statist perspective of the approach to securitisation, particularly of the so-called Copenhagen School, as securitisation processes on the part of confessional minorities did not just emanate from the state but from the confessional minority itself - and to a large extent - and thus from non-state actors.