Belgian private security sector #8: Historical facts (2/3)

This eighth chapter focusses on historical drivers (2/3).  We will focus on the second step, according to Richard A. K. Lum, « 4 steps to the future »:

What happened in the past? Do we witness evolution or revolution in changes? How can we categorize those different changes?

This series of publications are extracted from my final paper written within the frame of university certificate on foresight (UCL – Sept 2018)

historical-facts-2-of-3-of-Belgian-Private-Security-Sector-300x300 Private Security Sector: historical facts (2/3)

Changes identification - Definitions

The second step is to identify changes within the sector or community.  Are milestones the result of abrupt changes or the natural result of longer-term evolution?

Practical life

daily-life-2-300x200 Private Security Sector: historical facts (2/3)

By « practical life », the author understands the rhythm of daily life and the experiences commonly accepted by individuals.  We will find here daily practices and procedures, trends – even ephemeral ones, political opinions, …


By « system », the author means longer-term structural changes: institutions, regulations and even infrastructures that shape and/or restrict daily life (information technology systems, structure of government agencies, laws, …).

systems-1-300x200 Private Security Sector: historical facts (2/3)


public-opinion-1-186x300 Private Security Sector: historical facts (2/3)

By « values », the author means the views that citizens have about the world, the ways in which groups, communities and societies interpret the world around them, the commonly accepted ideas.  It includes all extreme tendencies (« isms »), dominant economic theories, the pursuit of a balanced private/work life.  We will therefore complete the title with « public opinions » to avoid any confusion

Changes identification – Application to the security sector


Before 1934

1934 - 1990


Practical life

Mechanization and use of oil contribute to the Golden Twenties

Cars, electric lighting and other facilities are consumed without moderation



Soldiers in the streets

(Cyber) Terrorist acts

(Dis-) information warfare

Change in threat level

Increasing threat level of nuclear power plants

Social network indoctrination

Departures for Syria


Economic downturn

Emergence of dictatorships

Expansion of commercial & industrial sites

State austerity policy

Austerity for the government

Cut budgets

Need for the public service to refocus on its "core business"

Assignment of public tasks to the private sector

New forms of attacks - and new types of security - (cyber)

Public Private Partnership (PPP) and partnership between states desired

New Issues:

  • Radicalisation in prison
  • Appearance of the "lone wolf"
  • Returnee management

Values («public opinions » meaning)

Rise of Fascism (DE - IT)

Threats and aggression against neighbouring countries

Sense of insecurity

Rise of terrorism

Loss of confidence in the police

Sense of insecurity

Bad reputation of private security

Rise of radical Islamism

Loss of confidence in the police

Sense of insecurity

Bad reputation of private security

Sources, Useful links & Resources

Richard A. K. Lum, « 4 steps to the future »

Executive Master in Foresight – UCL – 2018