Security and Defence Policy Opinions in Germany 2006

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr (ZMSBw), Potsdam
Publication Date
  • Ipsos, Mölln (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • International Institutions, Relations, Conditions
    • Political Issues
    • Political Attitudes and Behavior
    • Armed Forces, Defense, Military Affairs
    • Communication, Public Opinion, Media
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • International politics and organisation
    • Conflict, security and peace
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
    • Information society
  • Abstract

    Security and threat perception. Security policy attitudes and the role of the Federal Republic in international politics. Public perception of the Federal Armed Forces and attitudes towards them. Attitudes towards foreign missions of the Federal Armed Forces. Tasks and equipment of the Federal Armed Forces. Attitudes towards conscription. Attitudes towards the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and NATO. Evaluation of public institutions. Media use and White Paper 2006. Topics: 1. Security and threat perception: feeling of being threatened by: severe economic crisis in Germany, cutbacks in social benefits, job loss or not being able to find a job, insufficient financial security in case of unemployment, old age or illness, ageing society, immigration of foreigners to Germany, political extremism or religious fundamentalism in Germany, worldwide spread of a dangerous disease or epidemic, terrorist attacks in Germany or outside Germany, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in the hands of terrorists, wars or military conflicts in the world, civil war in the Balkans, military attack on Germany, worldwide climate change due to global warming, major natural disasters, worldwide environmental destruction, armed conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan, nuclear bombs in the hands of states such as Iran or North Korea; personal sense of security; threat to the Federal Republic of Germany from the above-mentioned aspects; assessment of the current security situation in the country. 2. Security policy attitudes: approval of proposals on counter-terrorism (e.g. more policemen in public, use of military means and possibilities of the Federal Armed Forces also at home, increased video surveillance of public places and buildings, harsher punishments for perpetrators of violence, extension of possibilities for tapping telephones and private rooms, etc.); Germany´s role in the world: preference for a rather active vs. rather passive international policy of Germany; reasons why Germany should help to cope with problems and crises in other countries and regions or why it should stay out of the way. 3. Perception and evaluation of the Federal Armed Forces: frequency of perception of the Federal Armed Forces on the following occasions: in everyday life, at public events, conversations in the family, with relatives, friends or colleagues, during television broadcasts, contributions on the Internet and reports in newspapers and magazines; personal impression of the Federal Armed Forces on the respective occasions; positive or negative attitude towards the Federal Armed Forces; evaluation of the Federal Armed Forces with regard to the performance of the Federal Armed Forces in its missions at home and abroad, equipment and armament of the Federal Armed Forces, integration of the Federal Armed Forces into society, military cooperation in NATO and the European Union, the public appearance of the soldiers and the training of the soldiers; strengths and weaknesses of the Federal Armed Forces (max. 2 mentions from the above-mentioned points). 4. Foreign Deployments of the Federal Armed Forces: knowledge of various foreign missions of the Federal Armed Forces (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), NATO Peacekeeping Force in Kosovo (KFOR), EU Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR), NATO´s anti-terrorism operation in the Mediterranean (Operation Active Endeavour), Operation against international terrorism in the Horn of Africa (Operation Enduring Freedom), EU stabilization forces to secure the elections in the Congo (EUFOR RD Congo), United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)) and agreement on a Federal Armed Forces participation in the respective foreign missions; Reasons for an extension of the foreign missions of the Federal Armed Forces (e.g. e.g. foreseeable armed conflicts in the region after withdrawal of the Federal Armed Forces, etc.) ; reasons for an immediate termination of the foreign missions (e.g. foreseeable involvement of the Federal Armed Forces in violent conflicts, etc.). 5. Tasks and equipment of the Federal Armed Forces: preferences with regard to the tasks of the Federal Armed Forces in Germany (e.g. disaster relief, rescue of missing persons, defence in the event of a military attack on Germany, etc.) ; opinion on increasing defence expenditure; opinion on increasing the number of Federal Armed Forces soldiers. 6. Personal relation to the Federal Armed Forces (location of the Federal Armed Forces close to home, respondent is or was himself in the Federal Armed Forces in basic military service or alternative civilian service, as a temporary or professional soldier, close relative (father, mother, son, daughter) or other family member was or is in the Federal Armed Forces in basic military service or alternative civilian service, as a temporary or professional soldier). 7. Attitude towards compulsory military service: positive or negative attitude towards compulsory military service; personal attitude towards compulsory military service (should be abolished and the Federal Armed Forces transformed into a voluntary army, compulsory military service should be reduced to a mere basic training, existing regulations on compulsory military service should remain unchanged, should apply not only to men but also to women, there should be a general compulsory service for men or for men and women, with a choice between military service and other services for society); opinion on the abolition of compulsory military service; presumed opinion of the majority of German citizens on the abolition of compulsory military service. 8. Attitudes towards the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and NATO: knowledge of the EU´s military intervention forces (EU Battle Groups); opinion on Germany´s participation in the EU´s military intervention forces; opinion on the relationship between the EU´s military intervention forces and NATO (planning of operations independently of NATO, in close coordination with NATO, only under the NATO umbrella); preferred principles for the design of the European Security and Defence Policy (strict limitation to diplomacy and civil crisis management without the use of military means, in addition to diplomacy and civil crisis management also military peacekeeping operations, if necessary also EU combat operations, if diplomacy and civil crisis management fail, EU should coordinate its security policy more closely with NATO/ the USA/ Russia, EU countries should coordinate their foreign policy activities better with each other to enforce their security interests and increase defence expenditure); NATO´s role for the security of the Western community of states (NATO has largely lost its function as a Western security alliance vs. NATO will remain the most important security alliance of the Western states, Split A and B). 9. Evaluation of public institutions: institutional trust (public schools, German Bundestag, statutory pension insurance, political parties, Federal Employment Agency, trade unions, Federal Intelligence Service, statutory health insurance, Federal Armed Forces, police, Protestant Church, Catholic Church, Federal Criminal Police Office, Office for the Protection of the Constitution); self-assessment of the level of information about the structure and functions of the above-mentioned institutions; assessment of the fulfilment of the tasks of the above-mentioned institutions; agreement on various statements (economic power more important than military power, war necessary under certain circumstances to achieve justice, bypassing the United Nations justified when the vital interests of a country are at stake, the best way to secure peace is military strength, Europe must achieve more military strength to defend its interests independently of the USA, military action against terrorist organisations as the best way in the fight against terrorism, economic aid to countries where terrorists are recruited as the best way in the fight against terrorism, conflicts within a state or between states can always be solved by peaceful means); Political interest; interest in various policy areas (e.g. economic policy, labour market policy, social policy, etc.); importance of different policy areas for the personal choice in the federal elections. 10. Media use and White Paper 2006: frequency of use of various media in everyday life (tabloids, regional daily newspapers, national newspapers and business papers, news magazines, weekly newspapers, private television, public television, news channels, private radio, public radio, Internet: private forums, online editions of newspapers, magazines or television channels, personal conversations with friends, acquaintances, colleagues or relatives, personal conversations with experts, participation in information events); awareness of various documents on the principles of German security and defence policy (Defence Policy Guidelines of 2003, Coalition Agreement of CDU, CSU and SPD 2005, Perspectives of German Security and Defence Policy, Maastricht Treaty, Principles of German Security and Defence Policy in the 21st Century, European Security Strategy 2003, White Paper on the Security of the Federal Armed Forces of 1994 and 2006); source of information for the current White Paper 2006; perception of various events in relation to the publication of the White Paper 2006 (press conference of the Federal Government for publication, debate of the German Bundestag on the current White Paper, cabinet meeting for the adoption of the current White Paper of the Federal Government in the Federal Ministry of Defence, security policy conference ´Impulse 21´ of the Federal Ministry of Defence); awareness of important statements in the White Paper 2006 (open); does Germany need a more intensive discussion on its foreign policy objectives (Split A) or its national interests (Split B) in view of its growing international commitment; preferences with regard to Germany´s security and defence policy objectives (e.g. justice and freedom, democracy, preserving security and welfare for its citizens, protecting Germany and its citizens from war and terror, etc.); knowledge of the sports promotion of the Federal Armed Forces; success of athletes sponsored by the Federal Armed Forces in international competitions; agreement on various statements relating to foreigners, strong state, asserting interests at international level and National Socialism. Demography: sex; age (year of birth); marital status; household size; number of persons aged 16 and over in the household; education: highest general school leaving certificate; type of vocational training certificate; employment status; satisfaction with professional activity; professional position; party preference (Sunday question). Additionally coded: respondent ID; town size; federal state; Split; day of the interview; interview duration; interview date (day, month); weight.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2006-10-28 / 2006-12-02
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe
German-speaking persons aged 16 and over in private households
Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Face-to-face interview: CAPI/CAMI
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 423
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA7614 (Type: ZA-No.)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 15 | Registration Date: 2020-05-14