Dr.in Nina Klimburg-Witjes

University Assistant (post doc)

Tel: +43-1-4277-49625

eMail: nina.witjes@univie.ac.at


Nina Klimburg-Witjes is a university assistant (post-doc) at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Vienna University. She has studied Development Studies, Literature, History and Euroculture at the Universities of Vienna, Erfurt and Göttingen (2005-2011) with a specialization on knowledge and global politics. In 2017, she defended her doctoral dissertation on the “Co-production of Science, Technology and Global Politics” at the Munich Center for Technology (MCTS) at Technical University Munich in 2017.

From 2016-2018, Nina has been a post-doc researcher at the Munich Center for Technology (MCTS), research group “Innovation, Society and Public Policy” and a co-leader of the “Engineering Responsibility” Lab's research group “Science, Technology and Security”. In her work at the intersection of STS and Critical Security Studies, she explores the role of technological innovation and knowledge practices in securitization processes. Tracing the entanglements between industries, political institutions, and users, Nina is interested in how visions about sociotechnical vulnerabilities are co-produced with security devices and policy, and how novel security technologies interact with issues of privacy and democracy.

During her time as researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (oiip) Nina worked together with stakeholders from ministries and funding agencies on internationalization strategies for science, technology and innovation. As head of the research unit “Science, Technology and Foreign Policy”, Nina conducted several research projects on science diplomacy, international collaboration and the role of satellite technologies in international security politics from a combined perspective of STS and International Relations.

Nina has also been a researcher with the Austrian Foundation for International Development (2010-2012), and a research fellow (2012) in the research project "Universality and Potential of Acceptance of Social Science Knowledge: On the Circulation of Knowledge between Europe and the Global South”, at the Department of Sociology, Albert-Ludwig University Freiburg, (funded by the BMBF). She has also been a visiting fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in 2018 and with the Research Policy Group at Lund University, Sweden in 2014.

Current Research Interests

  • The global politics of science and technology
  • Sociotechnical imaginaries of space programs and regional security in Asia
  • Satellite technologies and visual politics
  • The co-production of European research infrastructures and European integration processes
  • Sensors, sensing and security infrastructures 
  • STS and critical security studies 



Selected Publications

  • Klimburg-Witjes, N., Pöchhacker, N. & Bowker, G.C. (forthcoming 2020). Sensing In/Security. Sensors as Transnational Infrastructures. Mattering Press, Manchester.

  • Witjes, N. & Olbrich, P. (2017). Fragile Transparency: Satellite Imagery and the Making of International Security Issues. In: Science and Public Policy, Volume 44, Issue 4, 1 August 2017, pp 524–534, doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scw079
  • Witjes, N. & Olbrich, P. (2016): Sociotechnical Imaginaries of Big Data: Commercial Satellite Imagery and its Promise of Speed and Transparency. In: Bunnik, A. et al. (eds): Big Data - Society, Security, Innovation and Ethics. Palsgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/978-1-349-94885-7
  • Witjes, N., Olbrich, P., Rebasso, I. (2016): Big Data from Outer Space: Opportunities and Challenges for Crisis Response. In: Al-Akabi & Barranes, B. et al: Access to Space and the Evolution of Space Activities. Springer, Heidelberg. 10.1007/978-3-7091-4860-0
  • Witjes, N., Sigl, L. (2015): Internationalization of Science, Technology & Innovation (STI): an emerging policy field at the intersection of foreign policy and science policy? In: A. Franzmann, & A. Jansen, "Legitimizing Science: National and Global Public, 1800-2010" Campus: Frankfurt/New York.
  • Müller, R., Witjes, N. (2014): Of Red Threads and Green Dragons: Austrian Sociotechnical Imaginaries about STI cooperation with China. In: Mayer, M., Carpes, M., Knoblich, R.: The global politics of science and technology: concepts and perspectives. Springer.https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-55010-2_4
  • Olbrich, P. & Witjes, N. (2014): The Internationalization of National Systems of Innovation: Green Technology Cooperation between Korea and Austria. STI Policy Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1-32.
  • Olbrich, P. & Witjes, N. (2015): Earth Observation and International Security: The Role of Uncertainty in Satellite Imagery Analysis by Non-State Actors. In: ESPI Perspectives No. 76, European Space Policy Institute, Vienna.
  • Witjes, N. & Olbrich, P. (2014): Legitimate Knowledge and International Affairs: Satellite Imagery Analysts as Epistemic Community? In: Günay, C. & Pospisil, J. (Ed): ADD-On 14/15, Viennese Contributions to International Affairs. Vienna: Faculties.