Module Identifier IP30320  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Professor Mike Williams  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Ms Lora Gibson  
Course delivery Lecture   15 Hours. (15 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   7 Hours. (7 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  100%
Semester Assessment   
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

- Critically assess the literature on the causes of war
- Discuss a range of key concepts and historical and contemporary events in relation to the evolution of war
- Understand the role of legal and moral restraints on war
- Assess the conflicting theories on whether force can be controlled or abolished as a tool of inter-state relations

Brief description

This module is concerned with the relationship between war and politics, strategy and security, in modern international relations. The syllabus involves a consideration of: the nature, concerns and problems of security studies and strategic analysis; the relationship between strategy and its social contexts; the changing nature of war, and new and emerging forms and structures of conflict and security.


Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: What is Security?
Lecture 3: War and Society I
Lecture 4: War and Society II
Lecture 5: The Security Dilemma
Lecture 6: Clausewitz
Lecture 7: Total War
Lecture 8: The Obsolescence of War
Lecture 9: New Wars
Lecture 10: The Changing Role of Force
Lecture 11: Collective Security and the UN System
Lecture 12: The Changing Nuclear Landscape
Lecture 13: WMD and the Non-Proliferation Regime
Lecture 14: Security in the Third World
Lecture 15: Inside/Outside
Lecture 16: Conclusion


The aim of this module is to

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the course, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as basic numeric skills and self-management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team-work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Alan Collins, ed Contemporary Security Studies 2007. Oxford University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 6