The Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies (ACIPSS) is an internationally recognized research center attached to the University of Graz. The center’s focus rests on examining its three “pillars” (Intelligence, Propaganda and Security) within an academic context.
Apart from researching in a traditional “academic-historical” sense, the center also analyzes contemporary problems and issues. In this way, the center combines the functions of a historical research section, with those of a modern think-tank.
In addition to research and teaching conducted at the university level, the members of the center seek and the center itself (exists) so as to expand and educate the general public about its areas of research, as well as its results.
The center is affiliated with the Austrian Society for Secret Service, Propaganda and Security Studies (ÖGGPSS).
The foundation of an international center allows for the researching of Intelligence, Propaganda and Security studies and questions which are contemporary and highly relevant to the times in which we live.
The Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavians have for many years possessed centers and institutions dedicated to the subdiscipline of “Intelligence Studies” while, until recently, such a framework has not existed (despite interest) within the German-speaking area. There is, to this date, no comparable institution in the German speaking world to ACIPSS.
The themes of Propaganda and Security are, despite their relevance to current affairs, more or less “unknown” across German-speaking universities, particularly within history departments and institutes.
This is particularly shocking given the fact that in countries such as the USA (and Canada, Sweden, or the Netherlands) these areas of study have been accepted as being critical elements within the university structure, and furthermore that given the trends in the world since September 11 2001, a necessity.
The need for well-versed personnel in the areas of Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies is thereby validated, and it is the aim of this center, through its staff and functionaries, to enlighten both the academic and non-academic world of the need for research in these areas.
The staff and functionaries of ACIPSS are academics, including historians, lawyers, and political scientists, who in varying levels of intensity work in cooperation with the institute for history at the University of Graz.
Some of our members have focused their entire careers on the areas of Intelligence, Propaganda and Secrurity and offer regular seminars and courses at their Universities and Research Institutes.
Apart from established academics and professors, the center also benefits from student members, as well as men and women “in the business” (that is to say, those with practical experience in Propaganda, Security or Intelligence). The main goal for the center however, is to provide engaged and prospective students with the chance to work and collaborate (i.e. publish) within the academic/university framework.
Academic (Teaching and Research) within a traditional historical context
Scientific research within a historical context means focussing on the past. The historical importance of and events which stem from all forms of Propaganda, Intelligence and Security are of paramount interest to the center. Preference is naturally given to those occuring in Central and South-East Europe.
Analysis and Interpretation of Contemporary Problems
The contemporary relationship of the public, private and government sectors to our main fields of interest allows us to contribute to the research, analysis and interpretation of current regional (i.e European) as well as domestic (Austrian) themes. In this sense, the center can provide insight into developing trends as well as existing problems and situations.
Eduation and Instruction
In keeping with the analysis and interpretation of contemporary problems, ACIPSS also aids in the advising and instruction of administrative, governmental as well as economic personas, based on the research and analysis conducted.
Information and Public Relations
Informing the public, specifically via the media, is one of our most important tasks. This is due to the often-times misleading and false connotation that the phrase “Intelligence Service“ stirs up within the public. Popular perception is far from reality and due to the resources at the center’s disposal, a rectifiable one. Additionally, in the fields of Propaganda and Security Studies, ACIPSS seeks to acheive the same as in the area of Intelligence Studies, namely, mending false beliefs relating to the nature and conduct of those respective areas.
Interdisciplinary and International Cooperation
ACIPSS members strive to achieve interdisciplinary collaboration (in teaching and research) not only with researchers at our home university but also with those operating nationally (Austria) as well as internationally.