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Department of Development Studies

Security (BA)

Course Code:
151010035
Unit value:
0.5
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Term 1
Security (BA) aims to examine the meanings and agents of security. Security is conceptualised as a pattern of relations designed to manage risk through collaboration, competition and compromise; its opposites are vulnerability, insecurity and terror. The course investigates processes and phenomena that pose direct threats to groups of people and, in doing so, potentially destabilise or aggravate situations. Famine, financial volatility and AIDS undermine people physically, politically and psychologically, and on occasions result in further forms of insecurity as people resist, retaliate or take advantage of the situation. The course also incorporates analysis of contingent – and differentiating – social factors such as age, gender, class and identity and the way that these shape and are shaped by experiences of security.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Elaborate on and critique meanings of the term ‘security’, how these are constructed, interpreted and manipulated;
  • Identify and examine non-military processes and phenomena affecting security;
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of how various forms of security interact;
  • Explain the roles of a diverse set of actors operating in the field of security;
  • Analyse ways in which security is differently experienced between and within groups;
  • Assess risks and vulnerabilities within Global Security;
  • Deploy academic, UN and pressure group literature on security in constructing arguments.

Workload

Teaching will take the form of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial each week.

Method of assessment

One two hour written examination which will constitute 60% of the final mark, with the remaining 40% consisting of marks from an assessed essay. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of no more than 4000 words. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply to this course.

Suggested reading

Introductory reading:

  • B. Buzan, [1983] 1991, People, States and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • R. Dannreuther, 2007, International Security. The Contemporary Agenda. Polity.
  • M. Duffield, 2007, Development, Security and Unending War, Polity.
  • K. M. Fierke, 2007, Critical Approaches to International Security. Polity.