Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3208: Maritime Power and Security in Global Politics

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Martin Robson (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


The sea has, and continues to be, a global superhighway for nations, peoples, commerce and information as well as a source of rich resources such as fish and oil. This interdisciplinary module will draw upon both history and political science to introduce you to the concepts, history and contemporary context of the components and policy of maritime power and maritime security. You will be encouraged to critically analyse the utility of both political and historical theory for practical application using real world contemporary case studies. The module begins with an introduction to maritime power and security – what it is and what it is not – followed by an assessment of historical aspects of maritime security before progressing to assess a number of comparative contemporary case studies where maritime power and security plays a crucial role in concepts of the balance of power in contemporary global politics. Subjects analysed in depth will include: the global implications of the resurgence of China as a maritime nation. Are Western approaches to maritime security such as exercised by the UK and USA still valid? What is the role of non-state maritime actors such as multinational organisations such as the European Union? Or those with vested commercial interest such as shipping companies or offshore resource exploitation companies? What about the activities of terrorist and criminal organisations in and from the maritime environment? What legal frameworks exist for dealing with disorder at sea? What are the implications (legal and for global power) of the legal and illegal exploitation of maritime resources? This module is suitable for specialist and non-specialist alike. No prior knowledge is required. Combining history and political science the module is particularly recommend for interdisciplinary pathways.

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