POLS6005 Introduction to International Security
Course Code: POLS6005
Length: One term (Spring Term)
Teaching: 20 hours lectures/seminars
Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)
Credits: 0.5 course units, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS)
About this course
The principal aim of the course is to introduce students to the evolving discipline of international security. This will involve a broad survey of its intellectual history, of the many meanings of “security” in international affairs, and of the field’s major themes, approaches and tensions, all of which will be covered in the first part of the course. Several key subject areas will be explored in the second half of the syllabus, with a view to bridging theoretical and historical debates to current problems of policy and practice. We will focus especially on political violence (war, terrorism, insurgency, genocide); human security and armed intervention (humanitarian, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism); cultural forms of insecurity (religion, multiculturalism, globalisation and technology); security institutions (both regional and international); the role of the media, and “new” security issues (such as the environment, public health, and development).
By the end of the course, students will be equipped with the scholarly apparatus necessary for critical, reasoned analysis of problems in international security; with the knowledge to be able to engage confidently in discussions of current issues; and with the skills necessary to conduct independent reading, research, and analysis.