International Security

General Information
Lecture + seminar, including 15 minutes break
Number of Hours: 
Tuesday 9:45 - 13:00
Preliminary requirements: 

Exposure to and basic understanding of major international relations theory. Knowledge of contemporary world affairs and familiarity with current security threats, dilemmas, and crises desirable

Course Description: 


1. Evolution of security studies field

2. Classical Realism, Neo-Realism, Game theory, Liberalism, Neo-liberalism

3. Constructivism, Peace studies, Feminism, Critical theory

4. Human security


1. Security complexes and sectors, Armed conflict, Weapons proliferation

2. Risk/uncertainty, Mass atrocities,

3. Transnational organized crime, Transnational terrorism, ‘New wars’, Structural and cultural violence,

4. Militarization and the state, Peace operations, Private security actors,

5. Poverty and inequality, Environmental (in)security, Health, migration, displacement, state failure

Aims of the course: 

W1. Student explains what are the most important issues, actors, threats, and mitigating approaches at the heart of the various prevailing conceptions of international security, as well as in efforts at security provision?

W2. Student understands and evaluates the concept and evolution of security as well as the origins and characteristics of major security threats and challenges in the contemporary international system.

W3. Student is able to consider different interpretations of, and approaches to, the concept of ‘security’, using this theoretical and conceptual exploration as a springboard for analyzing the security agendas of the collective society of nation-states, the global system, and the individual within it. In each arena, particular attention will be paid to analyzing and critically assessing major security threats as well as prominent responses to said threats. 

U1. Student is able to properly operate the main concepts from the theory of international security and use them to construct the descriptions of political, economic and social security.

U2. Student has the skills of examination and investigation of three distinctly inter-related phenomena: (a) theoretical and conceptual insights into the nature of security and insecurity; (b) the ways in which various actors in the global arena (including individuals, states, international institutions, and non-state actors) perceive and define security and insecurity; and (c) the primary threats, challenges, and responses emanating from those insights and perceptions.

U3. Student posses the understanding of, and familiarity with, pressing security challenges and prevailing responses in the contemporary international system.

U4. Student has the able of critical thinking, reasoned discourse, and systematic analysis as demonstrated through both oral and written communications.

K1. Student is qualified to formulate and verify his/her own opinion about the different approaches to security studies. Student is able to discuss on the given topic and independently arrange the discussions about the countries of the region.

K2. Working individually and in a group student can prepare analytical models, presentations, papers and reports on a given topic.

K3. Student understands the importance of the knowledge from the field of international security for the analysis of social, economic and political problems of the contemporary world.

Teaching methods: 

In light of the aforementioned objectives, we will consider the security implications of a wide range of phenomena including contemporary warfare, weapons proliferation, transnational terrorism, global economic inequality and scarcity, climate change, migration, disease, and a plethora of other topics. To that end, we will strive to think about such events and issues critically and systematically, embedding our observations in theory and context. In order to satisfy these objectives, we will rely on a mixture of lectures, multimedia presentations and films, as well as facilitated seminar discussions, active learning exercises, case studies, and supplementary materials. You are therefore required to read all of the assigned material and come to each lecture and seminar session prepared to delve into a timely and exciting subject.

Evaluation & Completion: 

No student will receive credit for the course unless all required work for evaluation is submitted.

SEMINAR: Active participation in seminar discussion (50%); in-class presentation and final essay (50%)
LECTURE: Written examination (50%)

Basic Literature: 
  • Buzan, Barry, Wæver, Ole and Jaap de Wilde. 1998. Security: A New Framework for Analysis. Lynne Rienner. ISBN: 9781555877842.

  • Detraz, Nicole. 2012. International Security and Gender. London: Polity Press. ISBN: 9780745651170.

  • Kaldor, Mary. 2007. New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era (2nd ed.). Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN: 0804737223

  • Krause, Keith and Michael C. Williams (eds.), 1997. Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN: 0816628572.

  • Williams, Paul D. (ed.). 2013. Security Studies: An Introduction (2nd edition). London/New York: Routledge.
    ISBN: 9780415782814.

  • Various authors. Pew/GUISD case study packet (see below).

  • Electronic reserve readings (course management software)

Additional Literature: 
  • Betts, Richard K. 2012. Conflict after the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace (4th ed.). Pearson Longman. ISBN: 9780205851751.

  • Booth, Ken. 2008. Theory of World Security. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780521543170.

  • Booth, Ken. (ed.). 2005. Critical Security Studies & World Politics. Lynne Rienner. ISBN: 9781555878269.

  • Butler, Michael J. 2009. International Conflict Management. Routledge. ISBN: 9780415772303.

  • Buzan, Barry & Lene Hansen. 2009. The Evolution of International Security Studies. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780521694223.

  • Buzan, Barry. 1983. People States & Fear: The National Security Problem in International Relations. ISBN: 0807841137.

  • Dannreuther, Roland. 2008. International Security: The Contemporary Agenda. Polity Press. ISBN: 9780745635415.

  • Goldstein, Joshua S. 2012. Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide. Plume/Penguin. ISBN: 9780452298590.

  • Hough, Peter. 2008. Understanding Global Security (2nd ed.). Routledge. ISBN: 9780415421423.

  • Sheehan, Michael. 2005. International Security: An Analytical Survey. Lynne Rienner. ISBN: 1588262987.