2 Jahre nach dem Terroranschlag in Wien: was wissen wir darüber, wie sich Personen radikalisieren und wie ist die Lage . . .
ACIPSS veranstaltet in Kooperation mit dem LAND STEIERMARK, der UNIVERSITÄT GRAZ und SICHER LEBEN am 21.03.2023 um 18:30 Uhr im . . .
Am Freitag, 23. September, fand bereits zum dritten Mal eine „ACIPSS Studientagung“ an der FH Campus Wien statt – wieder . . .
Das Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda & Security Studies und die Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung(Berlin) luden am 17.9.2021 ausgewählte Gäste zur Konferenz “Seeking Influence and Power” (SIAP) in . . .
Am 10.9.2021 findet am FH Campus Wien die 31. ACIPSS-Arbeitstagung zum Thema "Emotion(al) - Sicherheit und Gefühl" statt. Anmeldungen bitte . . .
Am 23. Juni findet um 18:00-19:30 Uhr die Präsentation der Schwerpunktausgabe des JIPSS zum Thema „Das Streben nach Macht und . . .
Am 7. Februar lud das Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda & Security Studies (ACIPSS) in Kooperation mit dem Fachbereich für . . .
Am 5. Dezember 2019 lud das ACIPSS gleich zu zwei Veranstaltungen ein. Am Vormittag präsentierten Dr. Christopher Nehring und Mag. . . .
Am 8. November fand in Wien eine weitere Veranstaltung zur Geschichte von Geheimdiensten statt, basierend auf einer Kooperation der Universität . . .


Ongoing projects

Media Literacy - For a confident handling of information in an increasingly complex media world

Project team: Stefan Auer, Cordula Simon

"Fake News" and Radicalization
Buzzwords like fake news, mis- or disinformation, post-truth, filter bubbles, echo chambers or mendacious press and framing have found their way into common usage. Despite this awareness, real and fake information are often difficult to distinguish. For this, we want to provide students with a toolkit for what research calls medial literacy – the ability to perceive media and information critically. Since radical groups in particular like to take advantage of the opportunity to spread news with questionable content, it is now more important than ever to provide young people with knowledge that can be used to effectively counteract any radicalization and polarization, and thus arm them on their way to becoming democratically educated and media literate citizens.

Practical approach
After a brief introduction to the topic and illustrative material to tie in with the applicable curriculum in history or civic education, the workshop will move on to practical application as quickly as possible: Many exercises, especially for research, will only be possible to implement using a smartphone: How can you tell if an article is fake news? What about allegedly genuine photos, fake social media accounts, manipulated tweets and much more?
All exercises and examples will be constantly adapted and updated to ensure relevance to the present. All three parts are united by the basic idea of promoting the most unbiased, critical thinking and practically applicable media competence possible in the participants.

Mag. Stefan Auer and Mag. Cordula Simon BA from the Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies (ACIPSS - will supervise the project. The workshops will be subject to a subsequent evaluation with the involvement of the class and the teaching staff in order to ensure a high level of quality assurance. A comprehensive project report will be produced once a year.


Completed projects (selection)

Seeking Influence and Power: Exploiting systemic vulnerabilities along the Danube and across the Balkans

Seeking Influence and Power: Exploiting systemic vulnerabilities along the Danube and across the Balkans

The Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda & Security Studies and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Berlin) are conducting a research project on foreign actors seeking influence and power in Central- and Southeastern Europe, i.e. Austria, Hungary, and the Western Balkans. As a result of increasing strategic competition between states and the corresponding geopolitical power projection across the region, dynamics have emerged that have decisive impact on regional actors and stakeholders. Together with the recent European crises, these emerging and growing fault lines must be explored and analyzed. To this end, international experts will address systemic and national vulnerabilities, discuss how these are exploited by regional and global actors, and identify the associated risks and threats this poses to the states and people of the region, Europe, and beyond.

The results of this fruitful collaboration will be published in the forthcoming Journal for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies. The contributions will deal with regional vulnerabilities for subversion and power projection, hybrid threats, and the influence of global developments on the region. Leading scholars will tackle the consequences of actors exploiting instability and social tensions, caused by war traumas, border changes, the stagnating EU integration, migration, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the course of 2021, ACIPSS and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung are organizing public events in Berlin and Graz. By placing this important region of Europe back into the spotlight, the project seeks to provide a better understanding of current trends as well as forward-looking perspectives on future developments for both policymakers and the general public.
Austrian exiles in World War II military intelligence of the US Army. A collective wartime biography of the „Ritchie Boys“

Austrian exiles in World War II military intelligence of the US Army. A collective wartime biography of the „Ritchie Boys“

Sponsors: The Future Funds of the Republic of Austria, Project No. P14-1658; Jubilee Funds of the Austrian National Bank, Project No. 16356

Project Team: Siegfried Beer (project leader), Robert Lackner, Florian Traussnig

Project synopsis: During the Second World War, hundreds of Austrian exiles and refugees served in various military intelligence organizations of the US Army. When US soldiers with crucial skills such as native knowledge of German and detailed local familiarity (geographic, topographic, economic, and strategic) were located, they most often found themselves transferred to the Military Intelligence Training Center in Camp Ritchie, Maryland as well as Camp Sharpe, Pennsylvania. There they were instructed in how to operate as interrogators of prisoners of war and propaganda specialists. Upon graduation, they would primarily see service on the Western Front in Europe, providing as intelligence experts and resistance supervisors an important contribution to the defeat of the Nazi regime.

The purpose of this project is to collect and analyze selected biographies of these exiled Austrians. For the first time it will be determined how many of these Austrian “Ritchie Boys” were trained by the US Army, where they saw action in the war and how they can be typologically, politically and socially assessed.

Database: 493 Austrians received an intelligence or propaganda training at the MITC. Their names including further biographical data are available in an online database.

Further documents:
Press Release (June 2018)
JIPSS article on the goals, protagonists and first highlights of the project (2015)


Sponsors: European Commission

Project Team: Siegfried Beer, Eduard Staudinger, Andreas Gémes, Oliver Plauder, Mario Muigg, Wolfgang Göderle

Project synopsis: In June of 2005 ACIPSS members began taking part in the CLIOHRES (“Creating Links and Innovative Overviews for a New History Research Agenda for the Citizens of a Growing Europe”) research project. This project is a result of the 6th Framework Program of the EU Commission with the express goal of fostering a better understanding of history and creating a self-portrait of present day Europe (based on that history). Researchers and doctoral students from 76 different institutions of higher learning (from 45 different countries) took part in the project which concluded in 2010. Additionally an annual assembly as well as two work-group meetings per year were organized throughout various university towns across Europe. The project placed a special emphasis on encouraging the work and publication of promising “up and coming” researchers. Alongside the various results of the work-groups, a series of doctoral dissertations (of those students involved) were also published. Siegfried Beer (ACIPSS Director) and Eduard Staudinger (JIPSS Associate Editor) were the organizers of the project for the University of Graz (the only Austrian institution to take part). Additionally four doctoral students (all of whom ACIPSS staff) were involved: Andreas Gémes (2005-2008), Oliver Plauder (2005-2008), Mario Muigg (2008-2010) and Wolfgang Göderle (2008-2010).

Research & Teaching

ACIPSS and its academic leadership support numerous projects based in Austria and beyond examining a wide-range of topics spanning the globe. Below is a selection of completed and ongoing research projects being conducted under the umbrella of ACIPSS and by ACIPSS staff as well as theses supervised and courses given.
Ongoing Dissertations
Oliver Plauder, Die Rolle der amerikanischen, britischen und irischen Geheimdienste im Nordirlandkonflikt. Strategien und Taktiken im Kampf gegen die IRA
Completed Dissertations
Florian Traussnig, Geistiger Widerstand von außen –  Österreicher in US-Propagandainstitutionen des Zweiten Weltkriegs (2013)
Gaj Trifkovic, Making Deals with the Enemy: Partisan-German Contacts and Prisoner Exchanges in Yugoslavia 1941-1945 (2013)
Completed Bachelor Theses
Duncan Bare, A Hungarian Show with American Assistance: The OSS “Sparrow” Mission to detach Hungary from the Axis in March 1944 (2013)
Courses (from 2004 onwards)
Sommersemester 2020

Intelligence and the National Security State since 1900 (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2019 / 20

Fälschung! Eine fächerübergreifende Spurensuche in der steirisch-innerösterreichischen Landesgeschichte (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2018 / 19

Maritime Strategie und Seemacht im 21. Jahrhundert (Universität Kiel)

Sommersemester 2018

State-building, Nation-building and International Order since 1500 (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2017 / 18

Intelligence in the Cold War: Did it Make a Difference? (Universität Graz)

Maritime Sicherheit und Strategie (Universität Kiel)

Wintersemester 2016 / 17

Peacemaking, Security and Espionage in International Politics since 1815 (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2015

Intelligence, Propaganda and Subversion in the Cold War Era (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2014

Intelligence and War in the Twentieth Century (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2013

Cold War Intelligence Revisited (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2012 / 13

Terrorism in Modern History (Universität Graz)

Wehrpflicht einst und heute (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2012

Dominant Issues of the 21st Century: Intelligence, Security, Terrorism (Universität Graz)

Propaganda since 1900 (Universität Graz)

Militär und Sicherheit (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2011 / 12

Terrorism in Modern History, 1500 to 2010 (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2011

Radio in the Second World War (Universität Graz)

Einführung in das Studium der Neueren Geschichte (Propaganda and Media in the First World War) (Universität Graz)

Militär als Thema interdisziplinärer Forschung (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2010 / 11

The National Security State since 1900. Internal and External Challenges to Order and Power (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2010

From Revolution to Global Hegemony. (The American Encounter with the World since 1776) (Universität Graz)

Intelligence Reform since World War II (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2009 / 10

Secrecy and Espionage in the Modern World, from Machiavelli to Obama (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2009

New Research in Intelligence and Security Studies (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2008 / 09

World War II at Home (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2006 / 07

A Warrior Nation? American Conflicts in Fact & Fiction (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2006

Intelligence Studies in Central Europe (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2005 / 06

Intelligence in World Politics since 1945 (Universität Graz)

Sommersemester 2005

Der frühe kalte Krieg (Universität Graz)

Wintersemester 2004 / 05

The Need to Know: Forging the Intelligence State, 1884-1947 (Universität Graz)

Militärbesetzungen und -verwaltungen von den Philippinen bis zum Irak (Universität Graz)

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