Security and Defence Policy Opinions in Germany 1997

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
    • Society, Culture
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Crime
    • International politics and organisation
    • Conflict, security and peace
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
  • 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 tasks of the Federal Armed Forces, the role of conscription, military cooperation in Europe and questions relating to violence. Topics: 1. Perception of security and threats: associations with the Federal Armed Forces (open); tendency of associations; interest in various policy areas (economic policy, labour and social policy, security and defence policy, cultural policy, foreign policy and domestic policy); interest in information, television programmes and news about the Federal Armed Forces; personal feeling of security; personal significance of various aspects of security (e.g. job security, military security, social security, security of income, ecological security, etc.); feeling of being threatened by environmental destruction, violence by other people, poverty, crime, unemployment, wars in the world, right-wing extremism, financial problems, new technologies (e.g. genetic engineering), diseases (e.g. AIDS), population growth, nuclear weapons, lack of data protection, nuclear power plants, foreign infiltration, communism, terrorism; probability of a military threat to Germany; significance of various factors as a cause of regional military conflicts (nationality conflicts, religious conflicts, striving for great power, struggle for sources of raw materials, social conflicts, ethnic conflicts, migration, poverty gap between rich and poor countries); suitability of various institutions and instruments to protect Germany against military risks (NATO membership, other/ new treaties with neighbouring countries, United Nations, West German Union (WEU), Federal Armed Forces, European Army, general disarmament, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). 2. Security policy attitudes: Germany´s role in the world: Preference for a rather active vs. rather passive international policy on the part of Germany; approved or rejected measures for Germany´s international action (e.g. aid with food and medicines, aid of a financial and economic nature, technical aid by civil organisations, peacekeeping operations by the Federal Armed Forces (e.g. blue helmet deployment), etc.); general attitude towards the Federal Armed Forces. 3. Assessment of public institutions: Institutional trust (Federal Constitutional Court, other courts, police, Bundesrat, school system, state government, Federal Armed Forces, Bundestag, television, Federal Government, press, churches, trade unions). 4. Personal relation to the Federal Armed Forces: frequency of perception of the Federal Armed Forces in everyday life (in the cityscape/soldiers in uniform, on the street/ Federal Armed Forces vehicles, in advertising and in reports in magazines, radio and television); personal relation to the Federal Armed Forces: Federal Armed Forces barracks in the neighbourhood; family member or close relative or friend is a soldier; respondent himself/herself or his/her son is currently doing military service in the Federal Armed Forces or has done military service in the Federal Armed Forces, is/was a temporary or professional soldier in the Federal Armed Forces. 5. Role and Image of the Federal Armed Forces: Approval of statements about the Federal Armed Forces (the Federal Armed Forces is comparatively well equipped with very good weapon systems, in terms of equipment the Federal Armed Forces can cope with any emergency, German soldiers are well trained for a possible military mission, training in the Federal Armed Forces as good preparation for deployment in the event of natural disasters, good career opportunities for temporary soldiers in the free economy, discipline and order prevails in the Federal Armed Forces, command and obedience are the basic principles of military leadership in the Federal Armed Forces, soldiers often discuss the execution of orders with superiors, genuine camaraderie can be found in the Federal Armed Forces, soldiers also do a lot of things together in their free time, in the Federal Armed Forces you can easily become an alcoholic, German soldiers are masters of their craft, you can rely on the Federal Armed Forces in an emergency, in international missions of the Federal Armed Forces the German soldiers do their jobs just as well as other soldiers, in an emergency many soldiers of the Federal Armed Forces would try everything not to have to go to the front, the Federal Armed Forces would be completely overwhelmed by an attack on Germany, in an attack on Germany the Federal Armed Forces would strike back the enemy, in order to ward off an attack on Germany the Federal Armed Forces needs the help of allies). 6. Tasks of the Federal Armed Forces: Opinion on an increase in defence expenditure; opinion on an increase in the number of Federal Armed Forces soldiers; Preferences with regard to the tasks of the Federal Armed Forces (tasks of international arms control, fight against international terrorism, fight against international drug trafficking, border security against illegal immigrants, tasks in the field of environmental protection, international disaster relief, humanitarian aid and rescue services, reconstruction and development aid, international military advice, Combat missions on behalf of or under the control of the UN or other international organisations, peacekeeping missions on behalf of or under the control of the UN or other international organisations, protection of the constitutional order in Germany, participation in celebrations and ceremonies, education and character building, defence of Germany, defence of allies, aid for threatened friendly nations, evacuation of Germans from crisis areas); opinion on women in the Federal Armed Forces (do not belong in the Federal Armed Forces, belong only in unarmed service or opening all services to women). 7. Attitude towards military service: reputation of selected professions; characterisation of the average Federal Armed Forces soldier on the basis of selected characteristics (semantic differential: e.g. brave - cowardly, industrious - lazy, intelligent - stupid, disciplined - chaotic, etc.) Positive or negative attitude towards military service; military or civilian service more important for society; opinion on the right to conscientious objection; assessment of the activity of a person doing basic military service in the Federal Armed Forces and of a person doing civilian service in the social sector on the basis of selected characteristics (Semantic Differential: useful - not useful, varied - monotonous, comfortable - uncomfortable, strenuous - easy, professional - amateurish); attitude towards military service (important civic duty, personal contribution to the preservation of peace, wasted time, military service is easier than civilian service, military service is more often refused because civilian service is possible at the place of residence, military service should be abolished) Future of the Federal Armed Forces (Federal Armed Forces should be abolished, Federal Armed Forces should become a militia army like in Switzerland, Federal Armed Forces should be a purely professional army, current mix of conscripts and professional and temporary soldiers should be maintained, the number of professional and temporary soldiers should be reduced and in return more frequent military exercises for former soldiers); agreement to statements on conscription, conscription army and professional army (e.g. only a conscription army guarantees the principle of ´citizens in uniform´, conscription army is cheaper than a professional army, professional army is especially attractive for violent and extreme right-wing young men, etc.). 8. Military cooperation in Europe: awareness of different associations with soldiers from different nations (Franco-German Brigade, Eurocorps, German-American Corps and German-Dutch Corps); opinion on military cooperation with different countries (USA, France, Netherlands, England, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Russia and Sweden); support for a European army; support for a political unification of Europe; opinion on military chaplains; preferences regarding the tasks of military chaplains (e.g. none - separation of church and Federal Armed Forces, care of soldiers during military operations, care of soldiers on site and in barracks, care of relatives of soldiers, etc. ); opinion on the assumption of civil tasks by the Federal Armed Forces (should be the exception vs. Federal Armed Forces should take on civilian tasks more often); image enhancement of the Federal Armed Forces due to the flooding of the Oder; evaluation of incidents with regard to the condition of the troops: Federal Armed Forces soldiers who re-enact scenes of violence in their free time and record them on video, participation of Federal Armed Forces soldiers in xenophobic attacks; proportion of right-wing extremists in the Federal Armed Forces compared to the total population; opinion on the admission of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to NATO; opinion on the consideration of Russia´s security interests in the eastward enlargement of NATO. 9. Violence: youth violence: Frequency of various offences compared to the early 1980s (insulting others, vandalism, assault, theft, burglary and blackmail, threatening foreigners, damage to foreigners´ property); importance of various reasons for violence (violence in the media, failure of parental education, divorce, failure of school education, lack of leisure activities, elbow mentality in society, lack of prospects); changes in the living conditions of young people since the early 1980s; The Federal Armed Forces as a magnet for young people who are prepared to use violence; possibility of excluding violent young men from military service; possibilities for the Federal Armed Forces to counteract violent acts within the framework of basic military service; appropriate measures within the framework of military service against the readiness to use violence (education in discipline and order, political education, promotion of comradeship, punishment / hard crackdown, guidance on sensible leisure activities); left-right self classification; party that best corresponds to the personal basic political attitude. Demography: Sex; age (year of birth); education; additional vocational training; occupation; occupational group; net household income; marital status; denomination; residential environment (degree of urbanisation); city size; federal state; household size; number of persons in household aged 16 and over. Additionally coded: respondent ID; age (categorised); west/east; weight.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1997 / 1997
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe
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: 289
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA7606 (Type: ZA-No.)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 16 | Registration Date: 2020-06-12