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

Shifting Articulations of Space Security: Boundary Work in European Space Policy Making

Nina Klimburg-Witjes

European space policy is currently at a watershed. In 2021, there will be two institutions responsible for European space activities: The EU Space Agency (EU SPA) and the civilian European Space Agency (ESA) founded in 1975. This article investigates how new objectives and governance scheme(s) of European space activities reflect the increasing securitisation of space in Europe. Linking work in critical security studies to the concept of boundary work from science and technology studies (STS) I outline three phases of boundary work - expansion, expulsion and protection of autonomy - that all show how the dividing lines between peaceful and militarised space activities have become increasingly blurred. The conclusion argues that we currently witness a shift in the visions of European integration in space, with ESA remaining outside the EU framework and open to non-EU members while the EU SPA is accessible to EU members only and explicitly dedicated to the use of space for security. As the strategic potential of outer space is likely to grow, the paper offers a critical empirical investigation of the ongoing transformation in European space policy that has significant consequences for how we envision a "united Europe in space".

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
European security : ES
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
509017 Wissenschaftsforschung, 506004 Europäische Integration, 509025 Technikforschung, 509024 Sicherheitsforschung
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Political Science and International Relations
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