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Government Security Technology Coronavirus CSS Blog

Strategic Foresight: Can Prediction Challenges Be a New Tool for Governments?

Hindsight is 2020, foresight is 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the lives of almost everyone on the planet, causing more than four million recorded deaths, changing the way we travel, work, and socialize, as well as reducing the global economic output by trillions of dollars. As such, the pandemic has reinforced the willingness to engage in strategic foresight and to «think about the unthinkable».

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Government Security Coronavirus CSS Blog

Crisis Management Structures Federation/Bundesländer

This week’s featured graphic shows Germany’s crisis management structures on federal and on Bundesländer level. For more on Germany’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rethinking of its civil protection, read Benjamin Scharte’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.

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Security Environment Technology CSS Blog

Interdependencies of Trends Relevant for the Swiss Civil Protection System

This week’s featured graphic points out the interdependencies of trends relevant for the Swiss Civil Protection System. For more on uncertainties, challenges and opportunities of trends in civil protection, read Andrin Hauri, Kevin Kohler, Florian Roth, Marco Käser, Tim Prior, and Benjamin Scharte’s CSS’ Risk and Resilience Report here.

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International Relations Security CSS Blog

Collaboration beyond repatriations? Switzerland and the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism

During the repatriation operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, Switzerland benefited directly and indirectly from the activation of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), despite not being a Participating State thereof. The increasing severity of natural and socio-technical hazards and their far-reaching consequences underscore the importance of international collaboration in other crises beyond the current pandemic. A new CSS Risk and Resilience Report, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), therefore assesses the costs and benefits of potential Swiss participation in the UCPM.

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Technology Coronavirus CSS Blog

Keeping Up with the Digital COVID Jungle

Image courtesy of Free-Photos/Pixabay

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an explosion of digital tools for fighting communicable diseases. To cut through this complexity, this blog provides an overview of such tools for information exchange, contact tracing and monitoring compliance with physical distancing and quarantine measures. The large variety of applications can be explained by the (sub‑) national organization of crisis management, different socio-technological contexts, and the initial absence of sunk costs. To avoid an accelerated increase of surveillance that is incompatible with democratic standards, more transparency is needed regarding government contracts and consequential, algorithmic decision-making.