University of Sussex Business School

From Bombs to Algorithms (016IR)

From Bombs to Algorithms: Science, Technology, and Global (In)security

Module 016IR

Module details for 2019/20.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

Science and technology shape not only our lifestyle, but also politics and war. Scientific inventions and technological innovations have been crucial for the development of new weapons and defence systems, yet have had also other roles to play in warfare and political violence in general. How do scientific discoveries and technological innovations respond to the societal and political needs? How do military technologies affect the way wars are fought, regulated, and perceived? How do emerging technologies enable new actors to play a role in security politics? Why are some innovations feared? By focusing on these issues theoretically as well as on concrete empirical examples, the module provides an introduction to the study of security and technology.

Module learning outcomes

Show coherent knowledge of different social scientific perspectives on studying the entanglements of science, technology, society, and security

Be able to critique the techno-determinism and techno-optimism present in academic, popular, and political discourse

Demonstrate understanding of how technology shapes and is shaped by international political developments and practices of war-making

Critically reflect on current controversies involving science, technology, and security

Essay (3500 words)Semester 1 Assessment Week 1 Thu 16:0070.00%
Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT1 Week 7 33.33%
Group PresentationT1 Week 11 (15 minutes)66.67%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterSeminar3 hours11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Mrs Daniella Kiernan

Assess convenor

Dr Earl Gammon

Assess convenor

Dr Dagmar Vorlíček


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