The Politics of Terror (M1014A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

This module addresses the relationship between fear, security and identity in international politics. Typically, security is taken to defend already existing identities such as the national interest or the integrity of the environment. However, during this module you will explore the argument that security constitutes identity in relation to fear. That is to say, rather than simply defending extant entities, discourses of security produce novel identities. These identities are produced in relation to perceived fears. The question thus becomes how are fears constituted and what identities are secured against such perceived threats?

The module will begin with an examination of the nature of fear and identity in international politics. The remainder of the module will comprise an examination of the broadened security agenda of the post-Cold war era. The purpose of this examination will be to show the multiple ways in which fear is mobilised and the manifold identities thus produced. The consequences of such fears and identities will be examined in relation to cases such as ethnic nationalist conflict.


100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 36 hours of contact time and 264 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2018/19. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: