The dark side of society must and should attract the attention of researchers. Although Lithuania is a peaceful country where terrorist attacks seem unimaginable, security issues are among the topics that political actors, the media and the population in general are constantly concerned with. Although the crime rate has dropped significantly over the last decade, it’ is still far above the European average. Lithuania leads the EU in the number of homicides and fatal traffic accidents, the number of drug-related offences is rising sharply, the EU’s external borders with Russia and Belarus, for which Lithuania is responsible, cause many problems related to smuggling, corruption and economic crime continue to permeate society and the state, with various estimates suggesting that the shadow economy in the country can account for up to a third of GDP. Lithuania is the country with the highest incarceration rate in the EU. However, it should also be mentioned that Lithuania has managed to reduce the number of prisoners by almost half and has maintained this reduction through legislative reforms – the introduction of the new Criminal and Penal Procedure Code in 2003.
Risks and dangers are perceived by states and societies as well as by individuals. In today’s world, where violent conflicts and security take place in the immediate neighbourhood of the EU, a special research interest is required. The study and analysis of the material and mental factors that influence the risks and threats we face and the responses to them are essential to ensure the well-being of societies in the future.
And there are also risks and dangers that are neither on the agenda of the various violent actors nor in the criminal codes. Natural disasters, industrial accidents and infectious diseases pose higher risks and cause damage that cannot even be captured through the prism of laws and penalties. Nevertheless, research on disaster resilience and management issues is a valuable tool that should be used to prevent and manage the most dangerous risks and hazards facing our societies today.