Selected Issues: International Security


Course Objective

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding - The student has acquired knowledge and
understanding of:
(1) topical research in international security and a practical sense of
the insights and challenges involved;
(2) the structures, actors and processes regarding contemporary
international and global security;

Making judgments – The student is able to demonstrate:
(3) a critical understanding of the potential and limits of competing
approaches to international security.

Learning skills – The student has acquired:
(4) the skills to actively engage in an academic discussion;
(5) enhanced academic writing skills.

Course Content

International Security is a core and still evolving sub-field of
International Relations. While traditionally focused on the security of
states and on the concern with national security as a source of
international conflict, recently, and in the context of globalization,
the field has moved beyond this state-centric focus. On the one hand
non-state actors and transnational (economic, social and environmental)
processes can be seen as affecting national security. On the other hand,
it is argued that the concept of security itself must broadened beyond
that of states to include for example human, societal, environmental and
energy security. However, also in ‘global security’ as a more
encompassing term, states and their strategies, continue to play a
critical role. From this perspective we will critically evaluate both
more traditional and newer approaches to international security and
examine how they are applied to various contemporary issues. Special
attention will be paid to so-called critical approaches, in particular
those who seek to relate issues and dynamics of international security
to the unequal power structures of the global political economy. From
this perspective we may ‘deconstruct’ national and other actors’
strategies for security by analysing the social forces involved in
shaping these strategies and hence the social purpose (beyond the
official justifications given) that they may serve. From this
perspective we will amongst others review the politics of America’s
national security discourse and related foreign policy; the rise of East
Asia and possible security implications; the geopolitics of the growing
competition for energy sources and the relationship between security and

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Class participation and written assignment(s). All parts must be passed.


To be announced in the course manual (see CANVAS)

Target Audience

Students of Master Political Science (elective course for students in
all tracks)
Also open as an elective course for students in the Master Geschiedenis,
the Master Educatie in de Mens- en Maatschappijwetenschappen and
Exchange Students.

General Information

Course Code S_SIIS
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator dr. M. Hoijtink
Examiner dr. M. Hoijtink
Teaching Staff dr. M. Hoijtink
dr. O. Terzi MSc
prof. dr. W.M. Wagner

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study Group