Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Active seminar participation including oral presentation  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  30%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,500 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.

1. Display a sophisticated understanding of the concept of security, with the emphasis on security's normative aspect and its roles in theories of (international) politics.
2. Address similarities and differences between past and present theoretical conceptualizations of security.
3. Understand security as a political concept and address alternate conceptualizations (security as a strategic concept) through this perspective.
4. Develop/deepen skills of close reading, interpretation of past texts, cross-temporal analysis. Understand different languages of political theorizing.
5. Understand the genealogy of the concept of security in the history of ideas.
6. Critically analyze present renaissance in security studies, with special focus on Critical Security Studies and realist (security-focused) turn in political theory.


1 Security as a normative concept; Aberystwyth and Paris CSC
2 Security, individual and the state: past and present perspectives
3 Ancient pol. thought; the idea of security in Thucydides
4 Middle ages + Renaissance; security as a political concept
5 Machiavelli
6 Grotius
7 Hobbes
8 Enlightenment
9 Nationalism; security as a strategic concept.
10 Present IR theories through the lenses of security.

Brief description

This modules aims to provide students with advanced knowledge of past and present conceptualizations of security as a normative concept. There is a chronological line running through the module's syllabus, but the module's main purpose is to enable students to identify various possibilities to theorize security as a political idea/norm, especially through various reconfigurations of the conceptual relationship between security, community/state and the individual. The question why security was not addressed normatively in 19th-20th centuries will be also examined, as will be the onset of the security's normative renaissance at the end of 20th and beginning of 21st century. Since the module involves student engagement with key texts on security from the antiquity, through the middle ages, through the early modern era to the present, one of the module's aims is to teach students identify ideas about security in texts that are distant in terminology and argumentation from the present use and apply this skill to addressing contemporary IR theory.


This module is at CQFW Level 7