Multivariate Statistics of Security Perceptions in Europe

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 33, Issue 2, p.138-166 (2015)


com-parative analysis, desk research, European states, Perception of security, political actors, political in-stability, political level, risks, social instability, statistical analysis, Structural Equation Modelling


A range of methods were applied to evaluate and understand security perceptions across five European countries. Eight dimensions of the security perception were assessed, namely physical safety, territorial integrity, environmental and ecological security, cultural identity, social stability, political stability, economic prosperity, and information and cyber security. Their evaluation and prioritisation was performed using the Perception Security Matrix representation. Statistical methods—contingency tables, functional analysis and structural equation modelling—were applied to explain the relationships between the dimensions and their dependencies on risk categories. Three basic principles were derived: “freedom from want” related to economic and environmental conditions, “freedom from instability” as determined by social and political issues, and “freedom from fear,” meaning freedom from war, terrorism and aggressiveness, and related also to the integrity of the private sphere. These general principles manifest themselves differently in different countries determined by specific political, social, cultural, and economic context.