Security and Defence Policy Opinions in Germany 1996

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
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • International politics and organisation
    • Conflict, security and peace
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
  • Abstract

    This study dealt with the perception of threats, security policy attitudes, foreign missions of the Federal Armed Forces, tasks of the Federal Armed Forces, the role of conscription and military cooperation in Europe. Topics: 1. Perception of security and threats: 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.) Interest in politics in general, in foreign policy, in security and defence policy as well as interest in the Federal Armed Forces; security policy interest at the beginning of the 1980s; security policy strategy of ´deterrence´ as a guarantee for peace in Europe, necessary Realpolitik or a threat to humanity; advocacy or rejection of military force; change in personal attitude towards military force; Reasons for change of attitude; reasons for not changing attitudes; personal relationship to the peace movement in the early 1980s and today; opinion on pacifism; opinion on the extent of public debate on security policy issues and on the Federal Armed Forces; future development of the number of international conflicts after the end of the Cold War; likelihood of a military threat to Germany; feeling threatened by: environmental destruction, violence, hatred, crime, unemployment, world wars, right-wing extremism, financial problems, new technologies, diseases and population growth; threat to world peace from various countries and regions (Islamic states, Third World, Russia, Central/Eastern Europe, USA, Western Europe, Germany, Middle East, China); current that will prevail worldwide in the future (national or nationalist thinking vs. voluntary cooperation and interdependence); assessment of nationalist thinking; assessment of voluntary cooperation; suitability of various institutions and instruments to protect Germany against military risks (NATO membership, other/ new treaties with neighbouring countries, United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Federal Armed Forces, European Army, general disarmament, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)). 2. Security policy attitudes, foreign missions 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 Germany´s international action (e.g. aid with food and medicine, aid of a financial and economic nature, technical aid by civil organisations, peacekeeping mission of the Federal Armed Forces within the framework of a UN mission, etc.); opinion on the peace-keeping mission of the Federal Armed Forces in various countries and regions (Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, South-East Asia, Africa, NATO states, Western Europe; opinion on the future role of a state´s military power; opinion on the future staffing level of the Federal Armed Forces; assessment of Germany´s defence expenditure; general attitude towards the Federal Armed Forces. 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, education, political parties); reliance on the Federal Armed Forces. 4. Attitude towards compulsory military service: Military service or alternative civilian service more important for society; decision for or against various community services (care of the sick, care of the elderly, military service/defence, care of the disabled, environmental protection/remedy of environmental damage, care of children in need of help, service with the police, border guards or fire brigade); community service which the interviewee would be most likely to opt for social service most likely to be refused; general attitude towards military service; opinion on the right to conscientious objection; frequency of different reasons for conscientious objection (religious reasons, military service as time lost, political reasons, military service not compatible with conscience, civilian service as a more convenient way, economic reasons, civilian service with greater benefit to society); general compulsory military service retained vs. conversion into a voluntary army; future of the Federal Armed Forces (Federal Armed Forces should be abolished, citizen´s army based on the Swiss model, purely voluntary army, current mix of conscripts, professional and temporary soldiers should be retained, fewer professional and temporary soldiers more military exercises for former soldiers); preference for the future of the Federal Armed Forces. 5. Tasks of the Federal Armed Forces: 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 operations on behalf of and under the control of the UN or other international organisations, peacekeeping operations on behalf of and under the control of the UN or 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); evaluation of the deployment of German soldiers in various UN missions with regard to: care of the suffering population, promotion of the international community, integration of Germany, strengthening of German national interests, stabilisation of world peace, strengthening of the reputation of the Federal Armed Forces, enforcement of human rights, establishment of democracy in the country of deployment, protection of the population in the country of deployment; assessment of the armament and equipment of the Federal Armed Forces; assessment of leadership training in the Federal Armed Forces; assessment of ´soldiering´ as a profession; personal acquaintance with a Federal Armed Forces soldier; personal advice to a relative or friend when considering volunteering for the Federal Armed Forces; importance of co-determination in civilian enterprises; importance of co-determination for soldiers in peacetime; preferences for voluntary service by women in the Federal Armed Forces (women do not belong in the Federal Armed Forces, only in unarmed service, all uses should be open to women); opinion on the complete withdrawal of US troops from Germany; opinion on the complete withdrawal of the Federal Armed Forces from the region; agreement on various possibilities for a new German security policy (extension of NATO security guarantees to Eastern Europe, common European foreign and security policy, restructuring of the military, return to national German interests, strengthening of political cooperation); the importance for Germany of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council; attitudes towards citizens of various neighbouring countries (Belgians, Danes, French, Dutch, Austrians, Poles, Swiss, Czechs and Luxemburgers); the most positive attitudes and the most negative attitudes towards neighbours; a feeling of belonging as West Germans, East Germans, Germans, Europeans or world citizens. 6. Military cooperation in Europe: familiarity of various associations with soldiers from different nations (e.g. German-French Brigade, Eurocorps, German-American Corps, German-Dutch Corps); opinion on military cooperation with various countries (USA, France, Netherlands, England, Belgium, Denmark, Italy); opinion on the creation of a European army; opinion on the political unification of Europe; opinion on the introduction of a common European currency, the Euro; evaluation of the performance of the Federal Armed Forces with regard to reunification in comparison to other institutions (trade unions, churches, political parties, employers´ associations, sports associations and media); opinion on the future NATO deployment of Federal Armed Forces combat troops. 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; Left-Right Self-Placement. Additionally coded: Respondent ID; age (categorised); West/East; weight.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1996 / 1996
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: 216
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA7605 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.4232/1.13488

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2020-11-24