Security and Defence Policy Opinions in Germany 2001

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr (ZMSBw), Potsdam
Publication Date
  • INRA Deutschland, Mölln (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • International Institutions, Relations, Conditions
    • Political Issues
    • Political Attitudes and Behavior
    • Armed Forces, Defense, Military Affairs
    • Occupation, Profession
    • Person, Personality, Role
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Employment
    • International politics and organisation
    • Conflict, security and peace
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
    • Psychology
  • Abstract

    The subject of the present study was the perception of threats, security policy attitudes, the role and image of the Federal Armed Forces and their soldiers, the profession of soldier, tasks of the Federal Armed Forces and foreign missions of the Federal Armed Forces, the role of compulsory military service, Military cooperation in Europe political and social participation, psycho-social profilitems, as well as questions concerning the working environment. Topics: Potential applicants: Respondents under 26 years of age were asked: voluntary commitment as a soldier in the Federal Armed Forces is conceivable; intention to apply for a military service in the Federal Armed Forces; intention to start a family; future organisation of working and family life. 1. Perception of security and threat: personal feeling of security; personal significance of various aspects of security (e.g. job, military attacks, social security, income, ecological security, etc.); feeling of being threatened by: environmental destruction, violence by other people, poverty, crime, unemployment, wars or military conflicts in the world, right-wing extremism, financial problems, new technologies (e.g. genetic engineering), diseases (e.g. AIDS), population growth, nuclear weapons, left-wing extremism, military threat to Germany, lack of data protection, nuclear power stations, foreign infiltration, international terrorism, drugs. 2. Security policy attitudes, foreign deployments of the Federal Armed Forces: Germany´s role in the world: preference for a rather active vs. rather passive international policy of Germany; approved or rejected measures for international action by Germany (e.g. aid with food and medicine, aid of a financial and economic nature, technical assistance by civil organisations, peacekeeping operations of the Federal Armed Forces within the framework of a UN mission, etc.); general attitude towards the Federal Armed Forces and NATO and the participation of the Federal Armed Forces in the operational forces in Kosovo (KFOR), in Bosnia-Herzegovina (SFOR) and in Macedonia (AMBER FOX) 3. Evaluation of public institutions: Institutional trust (Federal Constitutional Court, other courts, police, Bundesrat, state government, Federal Armed Forces, Bundestag, television, press, churches, trade unions, federal government, school system, universities, political parties). 4. Personal connection to the Federal Armed Forces: respondent is currently doing military service in the Federal Armed Forces or has done military service in the Federal Armed Forces/ NVA, is/was a temporary or professional soldier in the Federal Armed Forces/ NVA or is doing civilian service/ has done civilian service. 5. Role and image of the Federal Armed Forces and their soldiers: Agreement to statements about the Federal Armed Forces (compared to other armies, the Federal Armed Forces is equipped with modern weapon systems, in the Federal Armed Forces discipline and order prevails, in the Federal Armed Forces you can find real camaraderie, in the Federal Armed Forces soldiers often discuss the execution of orders with their superiors, in the Federal Armed Forces you are tempted to drink too much alcohol, the equipment of the Federal Armed Forces is outdated, in international missions of the Federal Armed Forces, German soldiers do their jobs just as well as soldiers from other countries, in an emergency many Federal Armed Forces soldiers would try everything not to have to go into action, the Federal Armed Forces would fight back the enemy, if there really was a military attack on Germany, to ward off an attack on Germany, the Federal Armed Forces needs the help of allies) agreement to various statements on the profession of the soldier (e.g. e.g. German soldiers earn good money, Federal Armed Forces soldiers do not need to worry about their jobs, German soldiers are well trained for a possible military mission, etc.). 6. Tasks of the Federal Armed Forces: preferences with regard to the tasks of the Federal Armed Forces (tasks of international arms control, the fight against international terrorism, the fight against international drug trafficking, border security against illegal immigrants such as economic refugees, tasks in the field of environmental protection, international disaster relief, humanitarian aid and rescue services such as refugee assistance, reconstruction and development aid such as road construction, military combat operations or peace-keeping military missions on behalf of or under the control of the UN or other international organisations, education and character building of soldiers, defence of German territory, defence of allies, training in civilian professions, evacuation of German citizens from crisis areas, taking over police security tasks within Germany such as object and building protection); opinion on increasing defence expenditure; opinion on increasing the number of Federal Armed Forces soldiers 7. Attitude towards compulsory military service: reputation of selected professions; positive or negative attitude towards compulsory military service; opinion on compulsory military service for women; military or civilian service more important for society; attitude towards military service (important civic duty, personal contribution to the preservation of peace, wasted time, people doing civilian service do more for society than people doing military service, impairment of individual freedom); personal advice to an acquaintance regarding the decision to do military service or alternative civilian service and the obligation as a temporary soldier; personal advice to a woman regarding the obligation as a temporary soldier; future of the Federal Armed Forces (Federal Armed Forces should be a purely professional army, current mix of conscripts and professional soldiers should be maintained, Federal Armed Forces should be abolished); agreement to statements on conscription, conscription army and professional army (e.g. conscription army is cheaper than a professional army, professional army is especially attractive for young men with an increased propensity to violence, etc.); opinion on military pastoral service. 8. Military cooperation in Europe: awareness of various associations consisting of soldiers from different nations (e.g. Franco-German Brigade, Eurocorps, German-American Corps, etc.); opinion on military cooperation with various countries (USA, France, Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Russia); support for a European army; opinion on various statements in connection with the Bundeswehr participation in the NATO force in Kosovo (KFOR) (e.g. objective and fair reporting on the German KFOR mission in the German media, German population supports the deployment of the Federal Armed Forces in Kosovo, correct political decision to send the Federal Armed Forces to Kosovo, etc.); opinion on German participation in the European intervention force; opinion on the admission of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary into NATO; advocacy of various forms of German military cooperation with other NATO member states (integration of German troop units into multinational task forces, stationing of troops from other NATO member states in Germany, stationing of German troops from other NATO member states, exchange of military advisers and support for military training, granting of armaments assistance, joint military exercises and manoeuvres while respecting national autonomy). 9. Social and political participation, personality: left-right self-classification; party that most closely reflects the personal basic political attitude; importance of various policy areas (general economic situation, situation on the labour market, environmental pollution, tax burden, reform of the health system, securing pensions, costs of reunification, reform of the Federal Armed Forces, high proportion of foreigners, right-wing extremism, threat of terrorist attacks); preferred model for the deployment of women as soldiers in the Federal Armed Forces; attitude towards the service of women in the Federal Armed Forces (e.g. female soldiers can be deployed well in foreign missions requiring negotiating skills, the idea of being defended by a female soldier with a weapon in her hand is easy, uses with high physical demands are unsuitable for women, women in the Federal Armed Forces take away men´s jobs, etc.); agreement to statements on the Federal Armed Forces and its soldiers (e.g. the Federal Armed Forces must develop into a highly professional security company due to the new tasks in the international arena, the ´citizen in uniform´ is outdated, the Federal Armed Forces needs a new self-image, etc.); important characteristics of being a German (born in Germany, German nationality, lived in Germany for most of your life, know how to speak German, be a Christian, respect German political institutions and laws, feel German); importance of different areas of life (own family and children, work and profession, leisure and recreation, friends and acquaintances, kinship, religion and church, politics and public life, neighbourhood); used possibilities of political influence (e.g. expressing one´s opinion in one´s circle of acquaintances and at work, taking part in elections, taking part in public discussions, participating in citizens´ initiatives, actively taking part in a party, etc.); disenchantment with politics; satisfaction with democracy; interest in politics; interest in economic policy, labour and social policy, security and defence policy, cultural policy, foreign policy, domestic policy and health policy; agreement with various statements (foreign minorities enrich our culture, it should be made clear to the public how foreigners suffer from discrimination here, dangerous degree of alienation by foreigners in Germany, friendship or marriage with foreigners is conceivable, foreigners living in Germany should adapt their lifestyle to that of Germans, superiority of the white race, I would not mind being a citizen of another country); priority of important political goals (maintaining peace and order in the country, more influence of citizens on government decisions, fighting rising prices, protection of freedom of expression); membership in selected organisations and associations; active or passive membership; office in the organisation; attitude towards danger and one´s own willingness to take risks; expectations of a professional activity; professional activity; working environment: satisfaction with working conditions in various areas (e.g. work colleagues, activity, pay, immediate superior, etc.); travel time from home to workplace; weekend commuters; distance of workplace from main residence; respondents under 26 years of age were asked: smoker status; number of cigarettes per day; age at start of smoking; alcohol consumption; drug experience; drugs consumed; access to drugs; acquaintances with drug experience; wearing jewellery (rings, earrings, necklaces, piercing); tattoo; dyed hair; willingness to give up piercing, dyed hair or flashy jewellery for an attractive job; again all: opinion on how to deal with military history (e.g., military history is also history about the abuse of the military, therefore this very topic must be treated critically and in a balanced way, military history is important to pass on traditions for today, should only be treated in connection with general political history, etc.); questions about the current political situation: terrorist attacks in Germany feared, permanent, worldwide conflict between Christians and Muslims, participation of German soldiers in the deployment of ground troops in Afghanistan). Demography: sex; age (year of birth); education; employment status; occupational status; marital status; denomination; under/over 25 years of age. Additionally coded: respondent ID; split; city size; state; day of interview; interview duration; interview date (day, month); weight.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2001-11-02 / 2001-12-08
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: PAPI
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 437
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
  • ZA7610 (Type: ZA-No.)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 16 | Registration Date: 2020-06-10