Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Militaries and Crisis: Where Strategy Meets Society
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Policy report  on a case study, written in a style appropriate for a policy audience 1500 Words  40%
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Short Group Presentation  in the style of a policy briefing to government 15 Minutes  10%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Policy report  on a case study, written in a style appropriate for a policy audience 1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Short Written Assignment  summarising points in a presentation to a policy audience 500 Words  10%

Learning Outcomes

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

Critically evaluate the challenges facing states when they use the military in a crisis, drawing on relevant concepts and arguments in the academic literature on civil-military relations.

Critically assess the literature on change and disaster response and apply key principles from it to a case study of a state's use of the armed forces in a crisis.

Apply independent research skills, including the ability to source and use policy documents.

Demonstrate the ability to communicate critical analysis clearly, including in a format suitable for a policy audience, both orally and in writing.

Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as part of a team, including taking leadership roles where appropriate.

Brief description

This module introduces students to the ways that states use their militaries in response to crises. In addition to serving the more traditional purposes of defending a state's territorial borders from attack, projecting state power abroad, supporting allies and engaging in peacekeeping operations, armed forces are increasingly called upon to support civilian authorities in a range of natural and man-made crises that pose threats to the state and its citizens.


This module aims to introduce students to key academic literatures on civil military relations and military-strategic thinking and give them the opportunity to apply the concepts from these literatures to a series of case studies. It also aims to help students develop key employability skills, especially teamwork, presentation and writing for non-specialist audiences.


Students will engage with the academic literature on civil-military relations and its intersection with strategy and security studies to gain an understanding of the key principles, concepts and debates that underpin a state's decision to use its armed forces as an instrument of crisis response. A selection of case studies will connect military-strategic thinking to academic debates about change and disaster response, nuclear crises and global health. In a series of workshops, students will explore a range of crises and examine the role played by militaries and the strategic calculation behind their interventions. Students will also consider the impact on military cultures of militaries' use as crisis responders, and explore crises internal to militaries themselves, such as gender and military masculinities.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Co-ordinating with others Teamwork, communication and oral presentation
Creative Problem Solving Applying concepts to case studies in workshops and in policy report
Critical and analytical thinking Critical reading of sources and analysis
Digital capability Research using appropriate online sources
Professional communication Oral and written communication in content and style appropriate for policy audiences


This module is at CQFW Level 6