Security and Insecurity in Global Politics (L2061N)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

Security is central to the issue agenda of international relations. Traditionally security has been understood to comprise the question of the protection of sovereign territory through armed force. Security has thus examined issues such as arms races, war and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Traditionally these issues were addressed through a realist lens that regarded the state and its survival as the central conceptual maxims. However, contemporary scholarship concerning security has broadened this agenda considerably. New sources of insecurity have emerged outside the traditional state form, as can be seen in the rise of issues such as terrorism as well as wider 'complex emergencies' on the international security agenda. Moreover, the conceptual lenses for examining these questions of (in)security have also multiplied, giving rise to new referent objects of security and a wider security agenda encompassing issues such as identity, genocide, and the environment. This module introduces you to the broad issue agenda that shapes the contemporary study of (in)security. Each week it will focus on a different issue that defines the agenda of International Security.

Assessed by a 3,000-word essay.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


20%: Coursework (Test)
80%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.