Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM060: Global Security

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits30 ECTS Value15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Stephane Baele (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


This module will allow you to develop your analytical skills when making sense of contemporary security politics. It will encourage you to appreciate the respective strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to security, and to use these approaches to critically examine a series of today’s most prominent security issues.

By taking this module you will develop an appreciation of contending theoretical approaches to security issues inspired by perspectives such as neorealism, constructivism or securitization theory, but also by theoretical frameworks inspired by the “critical turn” (mainly Marxist and poststructuralist approaches) or interdisciplinary endeavours (chiefly social-psychological approaches to conflict). These perspectives will be put to work, illustrated and evaluated against the backdrop of an array of crucial issues making today’s global (in)security environment: the migration “crisis” and the changing nature of borders; the “Islamic State” and the Iraq-Syria war; the Ukraine conflict; NATO in the post-Cold-War era; or the privatization of security. In addition, you will have the opportunity to examine an issue of your choice and to present your analysis to other students.

You do not need to be a specialist in security studies to take this module and there are no prerequisite or co-requisite modules required – yet if you come from a non-IR/Politics background, the module convenor will ask you to read a series of book chapters selected as a “common ground” for further discussion and learning. The module is recommended for students on interdisciplinary as well as disciplinary pathways as it explores issues that draw on debates in various disciplinary debates including law, sociology, geography and economics as well as politics and international relations.

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