Dordt College News

Terrorism and counterterrorism expert presents lecture on security in the modern world

March 27, 2012

“What are we afraid of, and what makes us more secure?” asks Beatrice de Graaf, professor of conflict and security history, at the University of Leiden’s Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism in The Hague, the Netherlands.

De Graaf will visit Dordt College on Monday, April 2, as part of the 2012 First Mondays Speaker Series. Her lectures will address secular and Christian perspectives on security as well as conspiracy theories throughout modern history.

In her first presentation, “What Are We Afraid of? Christian Security Thinking in a Secular World,” de Graaf will consider the origins of our ideas about and sense of security. De Graaf says that, although the world has never been as “secure”—in the sense of the level of conflict, deaths, and violence—as it is now, society seems more focused on the twin concepts of “insecurity” and “uncertainty.” So, she asks, “How do people ease these feelings of insecurity?” De Graaf will discuss societal dependency upon monitoring and surveillance techniques, homeland security measures, and a Christian view of shalom as a possible Christian philosophy on security. This presentation will take place at the B.J. Haan Auditorium at 11 a.m.

At 7:30 p.m. on Monday evening in the Science and Technology Center (SB 101), de Graaf will address “Security and Conspiracy Constructs in Modern History.” This discussion will center more on the broader, historical trends of security and conspiracy theories.

An expert on the history of terrorism/counter-terrorism, security politics, and intelligence, de Graaf wrote an award-winning Ph.D. thesis on East German espionage in the West (Over de Muur/Across the Wall) and recently published Evaluating Counterterrorism Performance (Routledge). Her latest research project looks at the making of a national security politics in the Western world from 1815 onward. She studied modern history and German language in Utrecht (Netherlands) and Bonn (Germany), receiving her Ph.D. in December 2004. She lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands, with her family.

De Graaf was invited to participate in Dordt’s First Mondays Speaker Series, a program that brings biblically based thinkers, writers, and opinion leaders to Dordt College. The series is designed to promote Dordt’s mission by providing an enriching academic experience to equip students, alumni, and the broader community to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal. The presentations are free and open to the public.

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