Executive Seminar

The security-development nexus

Traditionally, “security” and “development” have been separate policy fields without much exchange. Different worldviews, organisational cultures, and concerns have shaped the specific approaches of practitioners in both areas, contributing to what some have labelled a security-development gap. After the end of the Cold War, and especially in the post-9/11 era, the complex relationship between security and development has increasingly been understood as interlinked. To begin with, the lack of security for large parts of the world’s population remains a main obstacle for the post-2015 development agenda and the new Sustainable Development Goals. As the World Bank’s World Development Report 2011 on “Conflict, Security and Development” stated: “One-and-a-half billion people live in areas affected by fragility, conflict, or large-scale, organized criminal violence, and no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet to achieve a single United Nations Millennium Development Goal (UN MDG).“ At the same time, persistent poverty, youth without job perspectives, and everyday violence provide fertile ground for the emergence of manifold transnational security risks such as organized crime, piracy, forced migration, terrorism, or even full-fledged civil war. Yet, external attempts to address these challenges, especially in the framework of post-conflict peace building or conflict prevention, have often fallen short of previous expectations.

This course deals with the so-called “security-development nexus”, looks at the drivers of state fragility and violence in different regions of the world and discusses various options for policy-makers. Specifically, it provides an overview of the interplay between security and development policies and analyses selected instruments that actors in these policy fields have introduced in order to bridge the gap between security and development policies. Participants will focus on specific case studies, which will be used to shed light on the specific challenges encountered by actors both within the decision-making system of donor countries and in the field. The course instructors will also invite practitioners with field experience to enrich the seminar debates.

The key competence for policy-makers conveyed in this course is a) to understand how development influences security and vice versa and b) how policy analysis can aid the improvement of donor policies and host-country governance under these conditions. The main goal of the course is to enhance our understanding of the various political, economic and social ramifications of conceptualising and implementing policy instruments based on an integrated understanding of security and development.

This course can also be completed as part of the Certificate in Intersectoral Management or the Certificate in Managing International Cooperation and Development.

Target group

Professionals from all sectors (public, private, and from NGOs)


  • Higher education degree
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience (average is ten years)
  • Good knowledge of English


  • 2.5 days in Berlin, as well as additional time for the preparation of the seminar
  • No follow-up assignment is required

Seminar times

  • Day 1: 11:00 - 20:00
  • Day 2:   9:00 - 18:00
  • Day 3:   9:00 - 16:00

Seminar fee

€ 1,690

Seminar fees are exempted from tax according to Value Added Tax Act (UStG) §4 Nr. 21a. In Germany and many other countries, tuition fees for continuing education programmes are also fully tax-deductible as professional training expenses.

Seminar fee includes: attendance, online access to course documents, materials during the seminar, beverages in the Hertie School cafeteria (open on weekdays), certificate of attendance. 

Terms and Conditions


Registration is possible throughout the year, on a first-come, first-serve basis via our online application module. Admission is subject to availability.

Seminar director