The University of Southampton
Courses

PAIR2014 International Security

Module Overview

The module provides a wide overview of the key theories and issues related to contemporary international security. The module includes eight theme-based lectures, preceded by general introductions and finishing with revision and assessment. Each theme-based lecture focuses on a crucial aspect of security and meets the course aims and learning outcomes of the module. Indicative topics covered include causes of war and peace, weapons of mass destruction, identity, geopolitics, health and the environment.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module aims to: - Introduce you to the main issues and trends in contemporary international security and the ways in which they affect the world we live in - Explore key issues of security in international relations, both theoretically and empirically - Encourage you to develop a deep and critical understanding of international security - Build your ability to engage critically with peers in discussions of some of the major risks and threats we face globally

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the key security challenges facing the world today
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical and empirical analysis to contemporary security issues
  • Construct independent and well evidenced arguments on the principles and concepts of international security

Syllabus

The course is an introduction to the major issues, trends and theories related to international security and their application to current challenges in world affairs. As the world evolves, the nature of security is constantly changing and the range of threats and risks requires different policy responses and actions. The module will cover a wide spectrum of security issues, including the influence of nuclear weapons, the impact of terrorism, the attempts to forge collective security through, for example, the UN, and the new and emerging challenges from extremism, nationalism, migration and the environment. We will also look at how strategic policy is made and the relationships between civilian and military decision makers. We will seek to understand whether the world is more unstable now than in the past and, if so, why.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module combines a mixture of lectures, seminars, presentations and group work

TypeHours
Independent Study121
Teaching29
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Barry Buzan (2007). People, States and fear. 

Michael Doyle and John Ikenberry, eds (1997). New Thinking in International Relations Theory. 

Alan Collins (2007). Contemporary Security Studies. 

Books, journal articles, newspaper articles, specialised website and other internet sources.. There are many journals and websites worth looking at. The main ones are: Adelphi Papers, Chaillot Papers, Co-operation and Conflict, International Organisation, Millennium, Global Society, European Security, International Security, Contemporary Security Policy; Survival, International Affairs; International Studies Quarterly, European Foreign Affairs Review, Foreign Affairs; Foreign Policy; Third World Quarterly; The Washington Quarterly; International Studies Quarterly; The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 50%
Presentation 25%
Report  (1250 words) 25%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 100%

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PAIR1001 Introduction To International Relations 2016-17

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