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Semester 1

Foundations in Global Security (PLIT10154)







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Visiting students must have completed 4 Politics courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses, and we cannot consider interdisciplinary courses or courses without sufficient Politics/Government/International Relations focus. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission, and priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Politics department. **Please note that all Politics courses are very high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

This course discusses a range of contemporary security challenges providing a set of key concepts that help you develop an in-depth understanding of the post-Cold war geopolitical and strategic environment. It seeks to provide you with the analytical tools for analysing and assessing respective policy responses, and for developing critical perspectives that go beyond the mere explanation of political practice. In doing so, the course draws on a range of International Relations theories, illustrating ways in which various approaches can serve as a framework for analysing global and regional security. The course places particular emphasis on the dichotomy between problem-solving and critical approaches to the study of global security and this is also reflected in the way it is assessed: the policy brief challenges your problem-solving skills whereas the essay and the tutorial discussions give you room for critical reflection.

Course Description

International/inter-governmental aspects and the role of power politics take on a prominent place in this course but it also includes non-conventional security issues that transcend the traditionalist focus of conventional IR on states and formal actors alone, such as the role of transnational actors, civil society and NGOs as well as the strategic implications of globalization, climate change and the eradication of the nation state as a unit of analysis. Apart from weekly lectures and tutorials, the course also involves (optional) workshop sessions on i.a. policy brief and essay writing, security policy as a profession, and strategic gaming. The course will cover the following themes (with slight variations according to contemporary developments) 1. The Contemporary Security Agenda; 2. Analyzing Global Security; 3. Policy Brief Information Session; 4. Global and Regional Security Governance; 5. Strategy in the Age of Terror: How to win Asymmetric Wars; 6. Radicalisation: Explanations & potential lessons for policy; 7. Just War and Targeted Killing; 8. The Politics of Securitization (and Migration); 9. Security, Development and Inequality; 10. Nuclear Orientalism and the Production of Danger; 11. Security, Accountability and Civil Liberties. This course consists of one lecture plus one tutorial per week. Attendance of lectures and tutorials is compulsory and both are subject of participation assessment. There are 2-hours slots scheduled for each lecture but the main session will always be held in the first part. Any additional time is used for discussions, (voluntary) student contributions, coursework guidance, and, possibly, video streamings on related topics. The tutorials are designed to give students an opportunity to engage more deeply with the topics raised in the lecture, to discuss and share your ideas with other students and to develop your communication skills. The success of each session depends on your readiness to invest time in getting prepared and to engage in informed and critical discussions with other students. You will be given specific tutorial tasks each week to guide your reading.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 85%, Practical Exam 15%

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