Center for Societal Security and Social Cohesion


SSSC is a knowledge center that combines longstanding expertise with actual expertise of societal importance. What are drivers for radicalization and terrorism? How to maintain social cohesion between people in this fragmented world? What are causes of political and other violence? How to co-exist in a multi-cultural world where fugitives are sometimes welcomed, sometimes not? How to keep cities livable? How to bring police nearer to citizens when it is needed? What are the consequences of the actual governance of social disorder and security policy?

These and other themes are studied by SSSC in a scientific, policy-driven and practice-oriented way. By detecting themes for the future, decoding complex questions, reporting and publishing, SSSC initiates debate and finds key answers to security and societal questions.

An experience of multiple years of translation of complex scientific insights to policy-oriented practice assures success on the short and long run. The multi-disciplinary approach and a rich contacts book contributes to this aim, while it is our creed to search for solutions for difficult problems. Starting from a strong belief in the malleability of society, science and an open debate culture, SSSC formulates pertinent questions together with you, studies these and searches for solutions. This is done in a diversity of themes and with different superior skills.

SSSC is waiting for your questions!


Prof. dr. emeritus Paul Ponsaers

  • Postal address Belgium :   Maisstraat 110, 9000 Gent, België
  • Telephone :                      +32 (0)9 226.43.55
  • Mobile :                            +32477722314 of 0032/488.29.33.60
  • Website :               
  • Email :                   

SSSC data

  • Account number :             BE53 001890506253 - BIC code GEBABEBB - Office Kouter Gent
  • VAT number :                    BE0752.756.820 - Free from VAT as small entreprise


Paul Ponsaers (°March 13, 1952) obtained his master in Sociology and in Criminology. Later on he defended successfully his PhD in Criminology. He started his scientific career as scientific assistant of the late professor Lode Van Outrive at the Catholic University of Louvain. During this period he was prominently engaged in research concerning political violence. He made his PhD on the labour inspectorate in Belgium.

Afterwards Paul worked during a period of five years as journalist fort he daily newspaper De Morgen, where he was prominently engaged in investigating extreme right-wing political violence and the so-called Brabant Killings.

Later he became head of the Police Policy Support Unit of the General Police Support Service. Firstly this was realized within the framework of the Department of Interior, later on in the General Police Support Service itself during a period of 10 years. It is there that he promoted different large scale research projects, as the development of registered crime statistics and the security monitor.

From 1998 to 2012 Paul worked at Ghent University as professor, in the department of Criminal Law and Criminology, where he developed the research group Social Analysis of Security. He teached the courses “Police Studies”, “Sociology of Law”, “Methods and Techniques of Criminological Research”. Since 2012 he is professor emeritus of Ghent University.

Paul is founding editor of the quarterly Cahiers Politiestudies and the Series Security Studies (Gompel&Svacina). He is also founding member of the series Het Groene Gras (Boom Uitgevers, Eleven Publishers).

He published an impressive amount of articles and papers in national and international journals and books concerning policing, financial-economic crime, security analysis and security policy. For the moment he focusses on the domains where SSSC is active.

  • November 1976 – September 1983 : Scientific collaborator KULeuven
  • March 1983 – April 1984 : Belgian Committee for UNICEF
  • May 1984 – August  1988 : Newspaper De Morgen
  • September 1988 - January 1989 : Free University of Amsterdam
  • February 1989 - December 1992 : Ministry of Interior
  • January 1993 - November 1993 : Consultant TC Team Consult
  • November 1993 - May 1994 : Cabinet of the Minister of Interior
  • May 1994 - September 1998 : Ministry of Interior, General Police Support Service
  • January 1994 - September 2012 : Fulltime senior professor Ghent University
  • October 2012 - today : Emeritus professor Ghent University