International relations

International Security

Module code: 916M1
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This module compliments ‘New Security Challenges’ by providing you with the theoretical and historical (mid/late 20th- and 21st-century) background needed in order to engage in contemporary debates in the field of International Security.

You explore changes and continuities in international security across key moments such as the end of the Cold War and the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, as well as key ongoing global processes/projects such as decolonisation and globalisation.

In the first half of the module you cover topics that are often seen as the core of security studies, such as the meaning of ‘security’, the nature of war, the relevance of sovereignty, the role of culture/identity, and responses to crisis — and you study these from both traditional and critical perspectives.

In the second half of the module you focus on debates that are at the cutting edge of the contemporary field, such as gender, intervention, and trust.

You will complete the module with a grounding in both core and cutting-edge debates about international security, and with an ideal basis from which to continue on to specialised optional modules in the subsequent academic term.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the nature of warfare and its evolving characteristics.
  • Understand the competing international security theories that to help explain and understand the causes, conduct and outcomes of war and its resolution.
  • Apply analytically such theories to security issues linked to the security trends leading to and occurring after the Cold War and in the post-9/11 era.
  • Identify and explain the dilemmas and difficulties pertaining to the way conflicts are resolved with particular reference to the growing trend of interventionism.
  • Understand the way domestic and international actors interact within the context of specific local and/or transnational conflicts and within cases of subsequent international humanitarian/military intervention.
  • Formulate academically and empirically informed analysis about contemporary security issues and policy.