Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 hour
Seminars / Tutorials 8 x 1 hour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment Seminar performance  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   ( 1 x 2 hour exam)  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss key concepts such as political economy and security in relation to the academic study of international relations.
2. Apply these concepts to contemporary cases and empirical examples.
3 Analyze the significance of political economy to the nature of security politics, and vice versa.
4. Compare and contrast different theoretical approaches to the international political economy of security.
5. Discuss the way in which different economic pressures structure the security responses of state and non-state actors in different issue areas.
6. Assess the different utility of theoretical approaches in explaining specific issue areas.
7. Evaluate explanations of contemporary political economic security issues.
8. Analyze competing explanations of the sources of international security competition, and relate these explanations to differing concepts of how the global economy functions.

Brief description

This module will outline the relationship between the functioning of the global political economy and the politics of international security, with particular emphasis on the theoretical perspectives surrounding these issues. Through this engagement we will explore how these theories inform the kind of security politics that state and non-state actors pursue. These will be discussed by considering these conceptual debates via specific issue areas of the global economy.



1. Introduction: Reintegrating Politics, Economics, and Security Studies
Theoretical Approaches
2. Realism, Power, and Mercantilism
3. Economic communities and security communities: Liberal IPE and the pursuit of growth
4. A Class Act: Marxist Security Theory?
5. Constructivist Political Economy: Identity and Security
Security Politics in the Contemporary Global Economy
6. Military Production, Transnational Production, Interstate Competition
7. Security and Development: Which Development? Whose Security?
8. Information Technology and International Security: Securitization and Digital Economies
9. The Capitalist Peace
10. Oil and Geopolitics
11. Finance, Deficits, and Defence: The Political Economy of Hegemony
12. Economic Sanctions and Coercive Diplomacy
13. The Domestic Politics of International Security
14. Capitalist Accumulation and the Dynamics of Global Security


Academic rationale of the proposal: This module add to Departmental provision in the area of security studies by providing a sustained focus on the political economy of security within international relations.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar performance. Students will also be required to submit their essays in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminar participation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of two essays and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. Blackboard facilities such as the blog will also be used and students will be encouraged to contribute their comments to the entries


This module is at CQFW Level 6