The Temple Asylum Game: Workshop and Simulation Exercise on Societal Security

11 Mar 2015 12:00
11 Mar 2015 17:00

The Institute for European Studies (IES) is delighted to invite you to participate in its first ever simulation exercise workshop on societal security. The event will take place at our premises on Wednesday 11 March from 12.00-17.00.

The Temple Asylum simulation game
This half-day workshop will focus on creating a feasible scenario for solving a complex problem: to re-establish security while not sacrificing the societal values of equality and religious freedom. The scenario is based on examples of real situations where church asylum is granted to a group of asylum seekers, when the authorities have rejected their applications. In this case we will look at a non-explicit religious group of 120 asylum seekers who have been granted temple asylum by their religious community here in Belgium. We will analyse the various angles, and participants will be given different roles and tasks. The temple asylum game models a theoretical conflict on the issue of immigration law enforcement and religious freedom and equality.

This is a great opportunity to develop negotiation skills, work on complex multi-problem-solving in a team, become acquainted with the concept of societal security and have an enjoyable stimulating afternoon.

On Societal Security
Until the end of the cold war, security was largely defined as the defence of state territory and the containment of war by the means of national military. The end of the confrontation of the blocs and new threats such as climate change, terrorism and pandemics have led to the expansion of the concept of security. Since these threats can hardly be stopped at borders, the security discourse shifted from securing territory to securing society. One commonly used description of the concept of societal security today is: “the ability of society to sustain its primary functions and to preserve its essential character under changing conditions and possible or actual threats.” One of the key elements of this workshop is to explore to what extent a society is willing to compromise freedom and equality when their maintenance is considered a security risk.

Practical Information

Registration is required by 1 March 2015. Participation is free of charge, but as there are limited spaces, registration is required. Upon registration you will receive information materials to help you prepare for the Temple Asylum Game. Participants will receive a €20 voucher for the VUB bookstore. Lunch is included.

12.00 - 12.45 Introduction to the game (roles, rules and aims) & lunch
12.45 - 13.30 Round 1 (Introducing characters and taking a stance)
13.35 - 14.20 Round 2 (escalation of the situation – media event)
14.20 - 14.40 Coffee
14.40 - 15.25 Round 3 (Negotiations)
15.30 - 16.15 Round 4 (creating the scenario for the future)
16.20 - 17.00 Conclusion of the game and evaluation

Registration and Venue

The workshop starts at 12:00 and will end at approximately 17:00. To register for the workshop please send your name, your current study major and contact information to

Please contact Ólöf Söebech ( if you have any questions regarding the workshop.

Karel Van Miert Building
Conference Room Rome (floor -1)
Pleinlaan 5
1050 Brussels