Dr.in Nina Klimburg-Witjes

University Assistant
(post doc)
Making Europe through and for its research infrastructures

Tel: +43-1-4277-49625
eMail: nina.witjes@univie.ac.at
Website: klimburg-witjes.com


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

Contextualizing Security Innovation: Responsible Research and Innovation at the Smart Border?

Nina Klimburg-Witjes, Frederik Hüttenrauch

Current European innovation and security policies are increasingly channeled into efforts to address the assumed challenges that threaten European societies. A field in which this has become particularly salient is digitized EU border management. Here, the framework of responsible research and innovation (RRI) has recently been used to point to the alleged sensitivity of political actors towards the contingent dimensions of emerging security technologies. RRI, in general, is concerned with societal needs and the engagement and inclusion of various stakeholder groups in the research and innovation processes, aiming to anticipate undesired consequences of and identifying socially acceptable alternatives for emerging technologies. However, RRI has also been criticized as an industry-driven attempt to gain societal legitimacy for new technologies. In this article, we argue that while RRI evokes a space where different actors enter co-creative dialogues, it lays bare the specific challenges of governing security innovation in socially responsible ways. Empirically, we draw on the case study of BODEGA, the first EU funded research project to apply the RRI framework to the field of border security. We show how stakeholders involved in the project represent their work in relation to RRI and the resulting benefits and challenges they face. The paper argues that applying the framework to the field of (border) security lays bare its limitations, namely that RRI itself embodies a political agenda, conceals alternative experiences by those on whom security is enacted upon and that its key propositions of openness and transparency are hardly met in practice due to confidentiality agreements. Our hope is to contribute to work on RRI and emerging debates about how the concept can (or cannot) be contextualized for the field of security-a field that might be more in need than any other to consider the ethical dimension of its activities.

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
Externe Organisation(en)
Technische Universität München
Science and Engineering Ethics
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
502014 Innovationsforschung, 506004 Europäische Integration, 509025 Technikforschung, 509024 Sicherheitsforschung
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Health(social science), Health policy, Management of Technology and Innovation, Issues, ethics and legal aspects
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