Module Information

Module Identifier
IPM1120
Module Title
Critical Security Studies: Contemporary Theories
Academic Year
2020/2021
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay I  30%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word essay II  70%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,000 word resit essay I  30%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 4,000 word resit essay II  70%

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Thorough knowledge of different theoretical understandings of security;
  • Ability to understand key concepts, related theories, and relevant issues;
  • Ability to identify, analyse and evaluate the assumptions and theories that underpin contending conceptualisations of security;
  • Ability to critically analyse and discuss the practical implications of these different conceptualisations of security, and participate in post-graduate level discussions about contending positions in contemporary security studies;
  • Ability to make articulate, concise, persuasive and well-paced presentations in small groups;
  • Ability to engage in critical and constructive debate.

Brief description

This module explores the 'critical' turn in Security Studies through an examination of the main contending conceptualisations of security that have emerged in recent years in distinction to the realist-derived orthodoxy.

Content

This module explores the ‘critical’ turn in Security Studies through an examination of the main contending conceptualisations of security that have emerged in recent years in distinction to the realist-derived orthodoxy. The module is suitable for all students of international politics, and in particular those interested in the study of security in its widest sense. It is available to students in both the ‘Specialist’ and ‘Research Training’ pathways. On completion of this module, students should be able to: 1. To understand different theoretical approaches to understanding ‘security’, focusing especially at the critical turn in security studies. 2. To have grounding in the various theoretical schools in critical security studies (first generation). 3. To understand the connections between the study of security and the more general study of IR – pointing out the strengths and limitations each approach brings about. This module provides a critical overview of the study of security in world politics from the perspective(s) of those employing alternative conceptualizations of security to the military-focused and state-centric approaches at the heart of traditional Security/Strategic Studies. Following a discussion of the orthodox approach, the module discusses various critical attempts to conceptualize the meanings and implications of security in world politics. The differences and common ground between these approaches (or schools) are highlighted through a consideration of key debates, empirical cases, and theoretical studies. Links between the study of security and the more general study of IR are identified. The second half of the module introduces students to recent theoretical developments in security studies (second generation), including the study of the value and meaning of security, the ethics of security and security as linked to concepts such as risk, governmentality, protection and resilience, and to some recent methodological developments.

Transferable skills

Conceptual thinking is at the heart of this module. Students on the module will learn to think about the relationship between concepts in the field of security studies and underlying theoretical and philosophical positions, on the one hand, and the implications of various conceptualisations to practice, on the other.

Throughout the module, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills and their self-management skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team-working skills. The review essay will allow students on the Specialist pathway to further develop analytical and communication skills. Essay writing will encourage students on both the Specialist and Research Training pathways to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7