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IR3054   Mapping the Boundaries of Emerging and Evolving Securities

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: 12.00 noon Mon

This module aims to explore how security is conceptualised within the disciplines of Critical Security and Geopolitical Studies. The point of departure is to explore how security how is security made and unmade through processes of interaction. Addressing this issue raises several important questions about where the boundaries of security begin and end. Does it matter if the boundaries between different spheres of interaction overlap and criss-cross? How do these points of intersection coexist and interact? How can we map the construction and implementation of security in zones of visibility and invisibility? Our aim is to take these questions forward by unpacking several separate yet interrelated security issues ranging from the environment to flags to migration to torture and the media, among others established and emerging scholarly debates. Overall the course argues that the boundaries of security are not just material objects. Instead they are conceptualised as sites of linguistic contestation that empowers and disempowers different modes of action. Taking this viewpoint challenges the idea that the boundaries are becoming redundant in an age of globalization. Mapping how we speak about security, and how this language is put into practice, forces us to acknowledge while boundaries are changing they remain important emblems and modalities of international relations.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 50%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr F Donnelly
Module teaching staff: Dr F Donnelly

Intended learning outcomes

  • To explore where the boundaries of security begin and end.
  • To learn about securitization in theory and practice.
  • To highlight the contested and blurry nature of security.
  • To examine the nexus between securitization and a plethora of referent objects.
  • To cultivate their own voice and insights on what security means and does