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IR5001   International Security

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Tuesday 11am-1pm (Group 1) and Tuesday 2-4pm (Group 2)

This module introduces students to important issues and key debates in security studies. It begins by examining the nature of war, both between states and within them. The module then asks why states go to war with each other, exploring different levels of analysis and a range of theories. The third part investigates how states anticipate, threaten, and/or use force; it covers topics such as intelligence, coercion, and nuclear proliferation. The fourth part focuses on conflict between states and insurgents, addressing the causes of civil war and the dynamics of (counter-)insurgency and (counter-)terrorism. The module concludes by studying the termination of both inter- and intra-state wars as well as the role of international peacekeeping.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2-hour seminar.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 40%, Midterm Examination = 20%, Coursework = 40%

Re-assessment: re-sit and/or re-submission


Module coordinator: Dr H Tamm

Intended learning outcomes

  • gain familiarity with important issues and key debates in the subfield of security studies
  • prepare students to capably analyze current security challenges in their professional careers or to pursue further academic research
  • understand why states go to war
  • recognize different ways in which states anticipate, threaten, and/or use force
  • acquire a clear understanding of why and how insurgents and states fight each other