International Security

Module code: PL7505

Module co-ordinator: Dr Helen Dexter

Module Outline

Issues of security and insecurity are central to international relations, as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the Iraq War of 2003 underline. This course provides you with a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of international security in the contemporary era. It examines the main theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of international security, before considering a range of contemporary security issues including: the emergence of a zone of stable peace in Europe; the violent break up of Yugoslavia; 'New Wars' in the South; terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the Iraq War and the future of the Middle East; and the prospects for peace and security in the Twenty-First Century. This module thus provides you with the analytical tools to think Module Descriptions Core Modules critically and independently about the nature of contemporary international security, focusing on developments since the end of the Cold War.

This module combines theoretical approaches to violence with empirical detail in order to explore the politics of violence and conflict. It explores a variety of contemporary manifestations of political violence including war, terrorism, state violence, everyday violence, targeted killing, and structural violence.

The module will encourage students to think critically about contexts, sites and logics of violence addressing questions such as: What is violence? How is it understood? Why does it occur? What does it produce? Why does it persist? How is it experienced?

Teaching and Learning Methods

Teaching will be delivered through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – Blackboard - this allows for a range of innovative and engaging teaching techniques to be used such as online presentations, podcasts, interactive message boards and Wikis, as well as one-to-one contact through conventional channels. 

Assessment

  • Journal article analysis (20%)
  • Essay (80%)