International Conflict Studies combines the intellectual endeavour associated with advanced learning and the practical policy implications emerging from particular approaches used in the study of conflict at regional, transnational, and global levels of interaction.
- The Department is unique in the UK and one of the few university departments in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon.
- The Department is a multidisciplinary institution devoted to the study of all aspects of war and conflict and the broad remit of international relations.
- The Department has an excellent reputation as a graduate training institution and is recognised by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research council as a training institution for War Studies.
- The Department places great emphasis on recruiting leading experts who bring with them not only a wealth of knowledge and ideas but an extensive and continually growing network of links with other departments, think-tanks, organisations, policy-making bodies and institutions.
- The unrivalled location in the heart of London beside the River Thames brings outstanding advantages. Students enjoy excellent academic, social and cultural opportunities. The department is close to the seat of Government, the City, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court.
- Students have access to visiting academics, serving officers, government ministers and other experts who give regular public lectures and seminars.
Whilst this is not a vocational programme, students on MA programmes in the department have gone on to build careers in: further academic research, NGOs, Civil Service, NATO, UN, media and publishing, finance and investment, teaching, and the armed forces.
Professor Vivienne Jabri
King's College London
Credit value (UK/ECTS equivalent)
UK 180/ECTS 90
One year FT, two years PT, September to September.
Year of entry 2013
School of Social Science and Public Policy
Department of War Studies
31 July 2013 or until places are filled.
30-45 FT and PT.
PT Home: £5250 (2013)
PT Overseas: £8400 (2013)
FT Home: £10500 (2013)
FT Overseas: £16800 (2013)
Postgraduate Officer, Centre for Arts & Sciences Admissions (CASA)
tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 1977 / 7203
The programme provides students with a comprehensive understanding of international conflict. It combines the intellectual endeavour associated with advanced learning and the practical policy implications emerging from particular approaches used in the study of conflict at regional, transnational, and global levels of interaction.
This programme is designed to have broad ranging appeal to those interested in pursuing graduate studies in the field of international relations and conflict studies. Those who may find this programme to be of particular interest include: graduates in political science, history, international relations and economics, those who have experience in the development field and those who have worked with international organisations.
The MA programme provides students with a comprehensive understanding of international conflict. It aims to melt together theory and practice, providing advanced engagement with the theoretical and philosophical aspects of the subject as well as training in the investigation and analysis of specific cases of conflict. It enables students to engage critically with the application of social and political theory in developing an understanding of the origins, dynamics, and resolution of international and transnational conflict and political violence.
Students on this programme will examine the impact of globalisation on the complexities of present-day conflict; the politics of identity and how it relates to the emergence of violent conflict; the relationship between security, insecurity and the politics of violence at international level; the politics of security and how this relates to human rights and policies surrounding migration; the relationship between language and violent conflict; the place of cultural and gender difference in relation to conflict and peace, as well as the political and ethical implications of the diverse theoretical and methodological approaches in the study of conflict, violence, and peace.
Students specialising in this field emerge with advanced knowledge of the intellectual tools necessary for the understanding of late modern conflict and political violence and the capacity to utilise these in innovative thinking relating to the specific issue areas confronting global society in the present era.
The International Conflict Studies Programme Director is the head of the Centre for International Relations, one of the research centres in the Department of War Studies.
Core programme content
This programme aims to develop students' research skills, in particular their capacity to critically engage with the intellectual tools provided through their application to study specific conflict areas.
The MA programme contains the following elements:
- A compulsory element comprised of two modules (40 credits in total): Violence, the State & Global Politics; Concepts and Methods in International Relations. Please click on the link below for module descriptions.
- Optional modules chosen from a range of possibilities (80 credits in total). Please see a list of typical options below.
- A dissertation of 15,000 words worth 60 credits.
The dissertation counts for 60 credits (3/9) and the compulsory and optional modules count for 120 credits (6/9) in total. Students may choose their own topic but must be approved by the Department. If students are unsuccessful in any element of the MA programme there is a opportunity to retake in the following year. Part-time students are advised to take the compulsory module in the first year of study.
Indicative non-core content
- All optional modules are 40 credits unless otherwise specified.
- Option modules begin in week 3 of term 1.
- In order to promote effective learning there are a limited number of student places available on each optional module.
- Some of the optional modules are prioritised for students on particular masters programmes.
- Each year the optional modules will vary, and we can not guarantee to offer all those listed in any given year.
- You are advised not to base your decision to join the degree programme soley on the list below.
- For a full list of option modules please refer to the MA in War Studies programme page here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/prospectus/graduate/structure/name/war_studies/alpha/w/header_search/
N.B Option modules are allocated using purpose-designed software which the department has created to maximise student choice while keeping each option class to a reasonable size. The system weighs student preferences, and gives priority where necessary to options of particular relevance to each specific MA programme.
FORMAT AND ASSESSMENT
Continuous assessment by essay; examinations and a dissertation.
More information on typical programme modules.
NB it cannot be guaranteed that all modules are offered in any particular academic year.
This module provides advanced learning and engagement with the different conceptual and methodological approaches to the study of international relations. The module enables students to reflect on the status of knowledge in International Relations, the ways in which research in the discipline utilises explanatory and interpretative approaches to the subject, the modernist legacy in the study of politics and international relations, and critical, poststructural, and feminist approaches to questions relating to the realm of global politics. Particular issues covered include the role of culture in the study of global politics, the agency-structure problem in the explanation and understanding of international relations, constructivism, structuration, the role of "language" and "discourse" in social and political inquiry, and the philosophical and methodological issues at stake in the application of these approaches to research.
The aims of the Concepts and Methods in International Relations are:
- To foster the capacity for critical analysis of the different approaches to conceptual, theoretical, and methodological discourses in the study of politics and international relations, developing independent judgement and communication at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study.
- To make students reflect on the nature and scope of the study of politics and international relations and the various concepts and methods used in the explanation and understanding of the subject.
- To build on students' reflection on and engagement with conceptual and theoretical discourses in the field of International Relations.
- To increase their 'reflective distance' towards their own learning, study and research. Students will be made aware of the variety of implicit and explicit assumptions that enter the research process at all stages
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Reflect on the status of knowledge in International Relations.
- Appreciate the ways in which research in the discipline utilises explanatory and interpretative approaches to the subject.
- Consider the modernist legacy in the study of politics and international relations, and critical, poststructural, and feminist approaches to questions of ontology, epistemology, and methodology in the study of politics and international relations.
- Apply theory to empirical case-study material.
Module code: 7SSWM029
Credit level: 7
This module explains the military history of the Civil War and places it in the evolution of modern warfare, as many of its central features prefigure the Two World Wars of this century. We will assess the impact of industrialisation on war, the rise in the strength of the tactical defensive, and the impact of the railways and the telegraph on strategy. A very important theme is the way that military operations were shaped by the American political system and constitutional arrangements. Students cannot understand the war adequately unless they gain an understanding of how the American Constitution works. Elections continued regardless throughout the war and thus 'the war' itself became a major political 'issue', especially in 1864. Consequently, the respective contributions to the war effort of the executive branch and Congress will be a major concern, especially the dramatic increase in the power of the executive. Contrasts with the Confederacy will be examined.Aims:
The aim of this module is to evaluate the military conduct of the American Civil War within its general context, by relating war on the battlefield to the political and social forces that directed it. This approach is an important one because far too much Civil War history has been antiquarian in tone and context, and far too concerned with piling up detail for its own sake. A narrowly focused approach to campaign history detailing every tactical move on the battlefield irrespective of its significance while simultaneously ignoring the political and social factors that determine the conduct of war is termed 'drum and trumpet' history. Much Civil War history has taken this form, especially during the Centennial years of 1961-65. This module will not consist of 'drum and trumpet' history. Moreover, students will not be required to master masses of minor tactical detail that explains the course of particular battles. General issues about the war's conduct will be our main concern. Given the focus on broad themes that rest on an understanding of military operations, students should be able to demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge.
Upon successful completing the course, students will have gained an understanding of:
- Why the war broke out and how political issues influenced the Civil War's conduct;
- The nature of strategy and its relationship with tactics and operations;
- The degree to which the Civil War was a 'modern war';
- The role and character of Civil War generalship and the pressures exerted on individual commanders in a democracy.
- Upon successfully completing the course, students should be in a position to:
- To navigate their way around a subject which has generated a vast (although enjoyable) literature that needs to be approached with discernment
- To grasp and analyse the significance of bias or special pleading in the presentation of an historical case.
Because war and Psychiatry is concerned with cultural differences across time and between nations, this module provides important contextual relevance. Drawing on a range of historical and contemporary case studies, the course provides a comparative and empirically informed examination of the origins, characteristics and dynamics of civil wars. The case studies examined include: the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the Angolan Civil War (1974-2001), Liberia and Sierra Leone (1991-2001), Somalia (1990-2001) and the Balkans (1991-95).
Drawing upon a range of historical and contemporary case studies, the course provides a comparative and empirically informed examination of the origins, characteristics and dynamics of civil wars. It explores competing theories about the causes of civil wars and is concerned with the difficulties of bringing such wars to an end. Special attention is given to the role of international organisations, international law and outside military intervention in the mitigation, regulation and resolution of contemporary civil wars. The case studies examined include the Spanish civil war (1936-39), the Angolan Civil War (1974-2001), Liberia and Sierra Leone (1991-2001), Somalia (1990-1993) and the Balkans (1991-95).
The aims of the module are to provide:
- a conceptual framework in which to understand the place of civil war and internal conflict in contemporary international relations;
- an understanding, informed by historical and contemporary cases studies, of how civil wars start, spread, mutate and are brought to an end;
- an understanding of how international organisations, international law, mediation and foreign intervention have influenced the course of civil wars;
- an appreciation of the policy challenges and dilemmas generated by the persistence of civil war in the international system.
Students who successfully complete this module will demonstrate:
- an understanding of the methodological issues associated with the study of intra-state conflict and civil wars;
- an understanding of the sources, dynamics and consequences of civil wars and the wider relationship of such wars to issues of international peace and security;
- an awareness of the ways in which international organisations, international law, mediation and foreign intervention can influence the intensity, character and duration of civil wars;
- an in-depth knowledge of a number of historical and contemporary instances of civil war;
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject.
The module discusses health, security and development challenges facing modern complex political emergencies. It also provides analysis of the policy debates taking place within the humanitarian sector when addressing these challenges. This course is suitable for students with a keen interest in the health sector.
The aims of the module are:
To provide students with an overview of security, health and development-related challenges and policy debates concerning modern complex political emergencies.To demonstrate an understanding of the political, economic and social factors that contribute to complex political emergencies after the end of the Cold War;To analyse the direct and indirect effects of complex political emergencies on global, national and human security;To identify the actors and institutions involved in the international humanitarian system, and the management and coordination issues currently facing them;To provide a framework for understanding humanitarianism, the humanitarian principles, and ensuing ethical dilemmas;To describe and critique the key policy debates currently taking place within the humanitarian field (humanitarianism, relief to development, coordination, evaluation and quality);To describe the challenges of developing context-sensitive responses to public health problems (e.g. reproductive health, communicable disease, mental health); To explore the complexities of the linkages between emergency relief activities and longer term development and post-conflict issues.To gain an insight into some of the key challenges involved in rebuilding health systems in post-conflict situations.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of modern complex political emergencies in the context of health, security and development challenges.
- display a critical understanding of the institutions and processes of policy-making within the international humanitarian system.
- to offer a critical analysis of the multidimensional nature of complex political emergencies.
- to critically engage with multi-disciplinary academic and policy literature on the subject and to undertake independent research.
- to critically engage with the methodological aspects of theoretical and operational issues concerning complex political emergencies.
- to structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing and participate in team-work activities.
Module code: 7SSWM194
Credit level: 7
No longer offered.
This option module builds on a corpus of material hitherto almost entirely neglected within War Studies curricula, namely the several thousand conflict simulation board games published in recent decades which attempt to model the dynamics of past or potential campaigns. Aims
The aims of the course are as follows:
- to familiarise students with the various possible mechanisms of conflict simulation, and the strengths and weaknesses of each;
- to allow students to create their own original simulation of a particular historical campaign or battle of their choice;
- to use simulation and modelling to encourage students to analyse the key dynamics of conflict situations, thereby gaining greater insight into the physical and human determinants of conflict;
- to help develop a wide range of skills, including critical appraisal of existing simulations, detailed historical research into a specific campaign, intellectual creativity in devising and testing simulation models, legalistic clarity and precision in drafting simulation rules, and design skills in producing simulation graphics;
- to allow students to practise broader transferable skills, in particular team work in a variety of contacts, familiarity with handling computer graphics, and the use of the internet to find information, disseminate ideas and receive feedback from the wider simulation community.
After successfully completing the course, students should be able to do the following:
- understand the various mechanisms through which conflict simulation games may operate;
- appreciate the artificialities in conflict simulation games, and the inevitable tension between 'realism' and 'playability';
- discuss the utility and the limitations of conflict simulation games in helping to understand conflict dynamics;
- critically assess existing conflict simulation games, and suggest possible improvements;
- produce to a satisfactory standard their own small conflict simulation game, through all the stages from detailed historical research through concept development, rules drafting, graphic design and rigorous play-testing to the physical production of a finished game with rules, map and counters;
- reflect critically on the design choices made and the strengths and limitations of their game, in extensive designer's notes.
The module provides an analytical and empirically informed treatment of the linkages between conflict, development and Islam in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It explores the origins and dynamics of wars and unresolved military conflicts in the region, and examines potential new sources of violence that might emerge both in the region, and in neighbouring countries. The module analyses the challenges of economic development and the linkages of development and security in Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. It also explores the dynamics of Islam, nationalism and extremist ideologies as they develop in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as the linkages between international terrorism, al Qaeda and Islam in Eurasia. Special attention is given to the role played by the international community in addressing issue of conflict, security and development in the region.
The aims of the module are to provide:
- an understanding of the origins and dynamics of wars and unresolved military conflicts in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia, as well as an examination of new possible sources of violence and conflict in the area and in neighbouring regions.
- an examination of the challenges of economic development and its linkages with security in the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asian, as well as an examination of the regions' economic ties with neighbouring countries (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, the EU).
- an understanding of the dynamics of Islam, nationalism and extremist ideologies in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia, and of the linkages between international terrorism, al Qaeda and Islam in Eurasia.
- an assessment of the impact of political developments in neighbouring Muslim regions (Turkey, the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia) on Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
- an examination of the involvement of the international community and neighbouring countries in addressing issues of conflict, security and development in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia.
- critical assessment of the relevant literature on the various topics, as well as guidance in conducting research.
On completion of the module students will demonstrate:
- a clear understanding of the causes, dynamics and consequences of wars and unresolved military conflicts in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia regions, as well as an understanding of the wider relationship of such conflicts to international peace and security.
- good knowledge of potentially new sources of violence in the region and in neighbouring areas.a thorough understanding of the developmental challenges affecting region, including proper knowledge of possible models of economic growth and development, as well as a thorough understanding of the linkages between development and security during conflicts and in the aftermath of conflicts in the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia.
- a deep understanding of the dynamics of Islam, nationalism and extremist ideologies as they develop in Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus and their linkages with conflict, development, and international terrorism.
- an awareness of the ways in which the international community can assist in addressing issues of conflict, development and political and religious extremism in the region.
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject, and to conduct research.
British Defence Policy has been going through an unprecedented period of operational challenge in the last few years and particularly in the last half dozen years. Until the launch of the previous Government's Defence Review in September 2009 there had been very little discussion of the direction and shape of British defence policy outside of the Ministry of Defence and the armed services. Decisions with enormous implications for future generations have been taken with little or no public engagement with the debates. As casualties have risen in Iraq and Afghanistan a campaign to draw attention to the pay and conditions of service personnel and their families has re-opened a debate on the concept of a military covenant between the state and the armed forces which continues. At the same time defence policy has begun to be seen as a component of a broader National Security Strategy with significant implications for future funding models and modes of delivery.
While the current preoccupation is on on-going operational commitments in the Middle East and Central Asia, significant problems in equipment procurement continue to dog the British defence establishment with claims of enormous gaps in the defence budget provision for existing equipment programmes and future requirements. The Government has embarked upon a 'strategic defence and security review' which is due to report in he autumn of 2010. This module will consider these and other issues in the historical context of British defence policy and in light of current debates.
This aims of the module are to:
- provide a framework for understanding and analysing the formulation and delivery of defence policy in the UK;
- foster the skills required for analysis of the various influences on defence policy formulation;
- develop a comprehensive appreciation of the relationship between government, the military and commercial organisations in the delivery of defence capability;
- highlight how commercial calculations affects political decisions and public discourse; and,
- promote an understanding of the impact of new technology on the future of British defence policy.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:
- an understanding of the key issues facing current British defence policy makers;
- a critical engagement in the methodological questions associated with the study of defence policy making;
- an understanding of the historical context of existing defence policy;
- the ability to evaluate the conflicting pressures on the armed services; and,
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject, to undertake independent research and to exercise informed judgement on current security issues.
This module is one of the compulsory elements in the MA in Science and Security and is also available as an options module to students on other MA programmes in the Department. The purpose of the module is to examine a variety of issues in international politics where scientific and technological issues intersect with security concerns. We focus on three broad topics: missile defense and the prospect of an arms race in space; the environment as a security threat, and the verification of arms control and disarmament agreements. For each of these topics, we gain an understanding of the science involved, examine relevant social science theories and concepts, and then use these tools to anlayse the policy issues involved, with a focus on the interaction of science and politics.
The aims of the module are to:
- familiarise students with the basic science underlying important contemporary issues in international politics
- develop a systematic understanding of the relevant concepts and theories from Security Studies, and encourage a critical awareness of the theoretical and empirical debates surrounding them
- promote the capacity for critical evaluation, independent judgment and communication at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study
- foster the skills required for critical analysis of the implications of scientific and technological developments on security
- provide a framework for original analysis of the historical and contemporary role of scientific developments in shaping security problems
By the end of the module, students will have:
- a basic understanding of the science underlying contemporary issues in international politics
- the ability to analyse critically technical claims made in the field of international security
- an ability to provide politically-informed technical analysis in the field of science and security
- critically engaged with key concepts and theories used in security studies, and applied those concepts and theories to an analysis of current and historical security issues
- carried out original, critical analysis of the impact of scientific and technological developments on security, using knowledge of the science involved and tools drawn from IR theory and security studies
- practised a range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills, through participation in classes and through the preparation and submission of course work
The detailed substance of the course will focus inter alia on topics such as the following: diplomacy and intelligence; military diplomacy; summitry; mediation; the role of diplomacy in multilateral forums. Students will be encouraged to make use of case studies to illustrate general propositions about diplomatic theory and practice.Aims:
- This module will examine the theory, art and practice of diplomacy, both as an instrument of foreign policy and an institution in the international system.
- It will analyse the way in which diplomacy, unlike most other aspects of international life, emphasises that which states have in common as well as those things which divide them.
- It will study diplomacy from the perspectives of politics, international law and history.
- In addition to this, it will look at the roles and functions of diplomacy regarding states and their policies, as well as the conduct of diplomacy in different forums and in different collective activities.
At the end of the module, students should have:
- An understanding of topics such as the following: diplomacy and intelligence; coercive diplomacy; summitry; mediation; the role of diplomacy in multilateral forums; diplomacy in the post Cold War and Post 9/11 worlds;
- Made use of case studies to illustrate general propositions about diplomatic theory and practice;
- A clearer understanding of the role of diplomacy as an institution in international society, its civilising influence and the extent to which its norms and conventions can be regarded as appropriate and effective in an age of globalisation, and new security threats.
The module provides an introduction to the study of East Asian security in the contemporary world. East Asia stands out as one of the world's most dynamic regions and the module analyses how competing schools of thought identify in different political, strategic, socio-cultural and economic factors the keys to decipher the evolving nature of regional architecture and power structure.
The module focuses primarily on the area of the Eurasian continent including countries historically influenced by the Chinese civilisation, China, Japan, the two Koreas, and Taiwan. It reviews cultural assumptions and historical circumstances that shaped the security of the region in the Cold War and beyond. It investigates liberal, realist and constructivist theories of regional security and test them against issues of critical significance for regional stability such as the role of the American alliance system in the post 9/11 era, the power competition between the United States and China, and the questions of legacy and memories of World War II. Further, the module explores the influence of actors such as India, ASEAN and the European Union on regional order and power balance.
This module aims to:
- Provide students with an historical and geopolitical understanding of the different notions of East Asia;
- Introduce students to the existing literature and perspectives on East Asian security;
- Enhance students' ability to assess the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to regional security;
- Foster the understanding and application of a range of intellectual and study skills, including critical analysis, independent judgment, as well as oral and written presentational skills and time management.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
- Have a comprehensive understanding of the different approaches to the study of East Asian security;
- Evaluate and debate theories and interpretations of East Asian security through critical and analytical analysis;
- Place issues and problems concerning security in East Asia within the context of wider debates on international security affairs;
- Have a substantial knowledge of the methodological issues concerning research on East Asian security;
- Undertake original and independent research on questions related to international relation theories and security in East Asia.
This is a research based option which flows from the work conducted by Professor Frost in the field of Ethics in International Relations. The impetus for this research came from the neglect which the discipline of IR has traditionally shown towards issues to do with ethics in world politics. The central claim developed and defended in this option is that no coherent understanding of contemporary international affairs is possible without a serious and sustained engagement with a core set of ethical issues. Such engagement with ethical thought and argument is required for us to make sense of any of the following actions: actions in defence of state sovereignty, wars of national liberation, new wars, secession, intervention, the war against terror, international crime, international aid, development aid, national self-determination. In recent years IR scholars have gradually paid more attention to the link between ethics and explanation in world politics. This module will introduce students to some of the key debates which have emerged in the burgeoning field of contemporary normative international relations theory.
- This module will engage students in a research based programme built around the core text written by the convenor entitled Global Ethics: Anarchy, Freedom and International Relations (Routledge, 2008), but will also refer to his other books, Constituting Human Rights (Routledge, 2002), Ethics in International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Towards a Normative Theory of International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1986).
- It will immerse students in an in-depth, historically informed study of the place of ethics in the discipline of International Relations paying particular attention to the reasons for its neglect in main stream International Relations theory as it developed in the 20th century
- This option will acquaint students with the traditional literature that did take ethical issues in international affairs seriously prior to the advent of modern social scientific method in the discipline. They will consider why this body of literature was submerged by the rise of positivist social scientific approaches to IR.
- It will explore the ways in which ethical matters impinge on the study of world affairs in spite of the sustained attempts by scholars to make a sharp distinction between facts and values in order to sustain the claim the IR is a scientific discipline.
- It will discuss the social scientific difficulties we encounter when studying human actions (which is the material studied by IR theorists) and how these difficulties inevitably lead social scientist to engage with profound ethical issues.
- Students will be lead to discover the salience of the above for our understanding and explanation of all key policy areas in international affairs from trade policy to war making.
- A key aim is to teach students how to move beyond merely pointing out the salience of ethical considerations to what they do as IR scholars, to actually engaging in argument to move towards a solution of some of the pressing ethical issues of our time in the international sphere. They will be required usefully to engage with questions to do with sovereignty, just war theory, normative theories about new wars, the ethical issues produced by the global "war on terror", global governance, democratization, the advancement of freedom by global civil society, human rights in a world of states, and others.Students will be invited to discuss a range of core texts by contemporary political philosophers working in this area including the work of John Rawls, Michael Walzer, Terry Nardin, Charles Beitz, Mervyn Frost, Chris Brown and others.
Upon successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Spell out and analyse how the distinction between factual/empirically based social science and normative theory was normally drawn by scholars in IR during the 20th century. In doing this they will be able to display advanced knowledge of the ontological, epistemological and normative underpinnings of major contemporary IR theories
- Outline and evaluate the critical turn taken by interpretative approaches to social science which made explicit how ethical matters are implicated in the conduct of all social scientific inquiry. They will be able to display a knowledge based in contemporary post positivist theory.
- Discuss how all our scientific and everyday understandings of world politics are shot through with ethical judgements
- Critically engage with a range of core texts which exemplify some of the contemporary traditions of thinking about ethics in world politics. These texts would include work by some of the following scholars: John Rawls, Michael Walzer, Terry Nardin, Charles Beitz, Mervyn Frost, Onora O'Neill and Chris Brown
- Apply the insights of current scholarship in ethics and international relations to the ethical puzzles which confront actors in the everyday practice of global politics which might include issues to do with war and peace, the individual in world politics, democratizing structures of global governance, promoting the spread of global civil society, dealing with migrants in a world of states, and confronting issues to do with the just distribution of resources in global context.
Module code: 7SSWM164
Credit level: 7
This course deals with the consequences of widening the security concept, the contribution of social constructivist and post-positivist approaches to security studies, and the transformation of contemporary security practices. The course focuses on the role of security policy in the construction of danger and the governance of society on the basis of unease and fear.
Human Rights and Migration adopts a socio-legal approach to questions relating migration and human rights. In doing do, it stresses the significance of political context in the construction of legal frameworks dealing with the politically charged question of the movement of peoples across national boundaries and examines these in relation to the agencies and institutions of the European Union. Each session considers the theoretical issue relating to human rights and migration, how the question is dealt with in international treaties, and what the implications are for migrants.
The aims of the module are:
- To promote in students an advanced understanding of the relationship between human rights law and the movement of people across national boundaries. The focus throughout will be on the interrelationships both supportive and conflictual between the domestic law within states dealing with migration, EU law and International Law.
- Unpack the international legal framework in relation to contemporary ethical ideas about individual identity, belonging and citizenship. This will involve students moving beyond "black letter" law to a study of the ethical values which underpin it.
- Set out the legal framework governing the refugees and asylum seekers within the European Union as they were originally set up and the transformations which have been taking place in the post Cold War and in the globalizing environment.
- Expose students to cutting edge analyses which examine the political forces influencing the legal changes mentioned in point 3 above
- Explore the ways in which forced migration is being dealt with in national and international law.Make explicit the opportunities which exist in domestic, EU and International law for migrants to seek remedies which will protect their fundamental human rights in the face of hostile political forces. In doing this detailed consideration will be given to recent developments in the case law pertaining to these matters.
- Study the links between human rights law, family law and migration.
- Explore the economic outcomes of migration and how it has affected human rights law.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
- Relate concepts of human rights to the movement of peoples across national boundaries as these have been defined in and controlled by law.
- Specify the complex legal framework within which our modern ideas of identity, belonging, and citizenship are located.
- Understand the legal framework relating to refugees and asylum seekers within the European Union and the transformations taking place therein. In doing this students will be able to demonstrate an ability to find their way around a complicated knowledge base which includes law reports, constitutions, legal text books, works in the field of international relations and also reports in the quality press.
- Appreciate the political context surrounding the complex relationship between human rights and migration policies within the European context.
- Engage with some of the thorny ethical issues which are raised by the legal and political disputes surrounding the problems of migration.
- Understand and analyse the issue of forced migration and the protection of refugees under international human rights law.
- Understand the question of rights and how this relates to family life across national boundaries.Assess the impact of economic migration on human rights law
- Demonstrate skill in articulating the complex interrelationships between law, politics and ethics as they pertain to issues to do with migration across national borders. These skills are likely to prove useful to students in their subsequent careers and as citizens.
- To foster the capacity for critical analysis of insecurity, risk, and unease, developing students' capacity for independent judgement and communication at a level commensurate with postgraduate study.
- To develop an interdisciplinary approach towards questions of security, war, policing, and risk, adding to the traditional knowledge of International Relations concerning these domains, central highlights coming from political theory, history, cultural anthropology, criminology, political sociology, surveillance studies.
- To address the relationship between policing (criminal justice, intelligence, and risk assessment) and defence (war making, antiterrorist operations abroad and peace support operation) as a set of entangled practices whose boundaries are shifting with forms of policing abroad and military intelligence surveillance inside.
- To discuss the boundaries of the networks constituted by different professionals and experts of (in)security at the transnational scale and is based on a deep empirical research concerning the European Union and its transatlantic relations
- To connect to International Relations theories (mainly anglo-american) a line of thought coming from French and continental theorists and sociologists, often misread as post-modern, like Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck, Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, and tries to show how they can be operationalised methodologically for empirical research concerning (in)security
- Helps students understand the relationship between agents and institutions relating to (in)security within the European Union and beyond.
- Addresses the impact of these networks of (in)security professionals at the transnational scale on the capacity of the professionals of politics at the national level and within the EU context to govern effectively.
- Discusses the emergence of transnational professional guilds which destabilises the very notion of national government and national state.
- Opens a discussion about contemporary dynamics of social changes seen often as globalisation, and to their relations with order, equality and freedom.
- Enables also students' capacity to analyse the dynamics at works concerning (in)security, risk and unease in other different social and professional universes, including beyond coercive agents, the domains of health, environment, banking, through a reconceptualisation of what (in)security practices means and what they do.
By the end of the module students will be able to
- Relate the theoretical and conceptual debates on security and insecurity to wider theoretical and conceptual frameworks.
- Understand of the qualities and limits of contemporary International Relations theories on this subject.
- Understand better the significance of issues raised in the module in relation to wider methodological concerns, and learn from the module how to engage in empirical research while having a background of constructivist epistemology.
- Appreciate the normative dimension of the study of (in)security regarding freedom, equality and justice, and have the capacity to understand the ethical dilemmas surrounding the (in)security dynamics.
The module explores the emergence and evolution of the Middle East system of states and its international politics since 1945, through a framework of analysis that is partly historical and partly thematic. The module is heavily based on reading seminars through which the themes discussed in lectures are explored, often in relation to current case studies. You will be expected to read an average of 140-150 pages a week. The lectures start with a survey of the emergence of the modern Middle East since the late Ottoman period, through the era of British and French imperialism, to the post-1945 independence period and the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. This is intended to demonstrate the importance of the international system in shaping the modern states and political patterns of the region, and also to reveal the importance of social structures and political economy in additionally determining inter-state behaviour. This perspective is applied to the rise of nationalism, impact of oil, and pressures to liberalize economically and politically, especially since the end of the Cold War. Sweeping social and economic transformation has moreover led to the rise of new forms of 'identity politics' that are explored in the cases of religious-nationalist Zioism and of political Islam, and to the increasing role of armed non-state actors. These themes are developed through extensive discussion of select case-studies including Iraq, Iran, and Israel and the Palestinians. The primary aim is to provide a basic ability to analyze and understand major political issues and historical processes in the Middle East. The secondary aim is to provide training in the critical reading of assigned texts and their use in analytical writing.
The aims of the module are to:
- enhance student knowledge of the determinants of modern Middle East politics and state formation;
- provide an analytical framework for understanding the Arab-Israeli and Gulf conflicts, intra-regional relations, the politics of oil, and the Middle East policies of the super/global powers;
- allow students to develop their understanding of the role of identity politics (nationalism and religion) in inter-state politics in the region;
- allow students to develop their understanding of the politics of economic and political liberalization in the Middle East in the context of globalization;
- encourage critical engagement with debates about the applicability and utility of different International Relations theoretical approaches in explaining the international politics of the Middle East.
At the end of the module, students will be able to:
- interpret and explain events in the Middle East through application of universal analytical concepts and methods;
- assess critically the impact of global processes on Middle East politics, and equally to draw on the example of the Middle East to re-evaluate the international politics of other regions of the world;
- demonstrate a critical understanding of the levels-of-analysis approach, questions of causality, and critical comparative perspective in International Relations thinking, including the interplay of external and internal factors in the national, regional, and international politics of states;
- explain the relevance of social origins, historical context, and political economy of states to their foreign policy behaviour, affecting the nature, extent, and pace of regionalism, economic and political liberalization, and globalization;
- demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of ideology and culture in international politics;
- communicate effectively about these issues verbally and in writing;display research skills pertinent to the study of international politics of the Middle East.
Module code: 7SSWM044
Credit level: 7
The aim of this module is to analyse the role played by the media in the evolution of national and international wars and thus also to better understand the nature of contemporary war. We will try to discover if the media have an impact on decision-making in military interventions or if, rather, they are merely tools in the hands of government officials who want to shape public opinion. This issue is related to several different media phenomena which shall be investigated: the CNN Effect, Agenda Setting, Real Time Policy, Media Diplomacy, Media War, News Management, and Propaganda. The power relations between the media and political and military decision-makers will be therefore explored, as well as the relations between the Media and Civil Society. We will focus on a specific medium, television, and cover all the most relevant conflicts from the Vietnam War up to the recent intervention in Iraq (2003), including also the Falklands, Panama, Iraq (1991), Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and the Sudan. Several different topics will be explained to understand the intersection between war and media: the proliferation of satellite technologies and the Internet; the importance of 24-hours all-news international TV networks (like CNN and al Jazeera); the role of still and moving images; the importance of journalists and journalistic routines; the relevance of press conferences, briefings, and official statements; the emergence of "non-western" media; and also the spread of ethnic conflicts and terrorism, and the more and more asymmetric nature of war.
The aims of the module are:
- Providing the student with an overview of the key academic debates about the role of the media in international politics;
- Giving the student all necessary tools to apply the existing theories about media effects in war and conflict to current events;
- Linking the debate about media and war with some key academic works (and other modules given in the department) about the changing nature of contemporary warfare;
- Giving the student some basic skills of textual interpretation and analysis.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to acquire a specific knowledge related to media effects in war and conflict:
- An understanding of the political role of the media in the international arena;
- An understanding of international conflicts' dynamics and of the nature of contemporary warfare;
- An understanding of the present international media market;
- An understanding of the strategies directed to the media by different political actors;
- An understanding of how media effects change in different historical and political contexts.
The development and spread of weapons technology has always been of central importance in international relations, and it remains so in today's world with growing concern about the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery notably ballistic and cruise missiles. In line with the priority within the Department of War Studies to promote research-led teaching in the field of weapons proliferation, reflected in, but not restricted to, the aims of the MA in 'Non-Proliferation and International Security', this module focuses specifically on the issue of missile proliferation and enables students to examine the causes, processes and effects of missile proliferation, the evolution and effectiveness of international missile non-proliferation efforts, and the various other ways in which the international community, and states therein, have sought to counter the challenges posed by missile proliferation.
The aims of the module are:
- to provide students with a specialised knowledge of the causes, processes, effects and technical aspects of ballistic and cruise missile proliferation;
- to provide students with a specialised knowledge of the various policy responses for dealing with the challenges posed by missile proliferation including their strengths and weaknesses;
- to provide an understanding of the strategic concepts necessary to understand missile proliferation as part of the security strategy of states and how this relates to other international security issues;
- to enable students to acquire a critical understanding of the significance of missile technology and its spread to further centres of control over time including its historical role, contemporary trends and future direction;
- to use conceptual and theoretical frameworks to analyze and critically examine case studies of missile proliferation;
- to compare and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of historical and contemporary policies for addressing the challenges posed by missile proliferation including export controls and missile defence.
On completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate:
- comprehensive knowledge of the empirical history of missile proliferation, non-proliferation and military-based responses to the problem;
- a sophisticated understanding of the link between missile proliferation and broader international security issues, including the causes of peace and war, military doctrine and strategy;
- their understanding of a framework for critical evaluation of the causes, processes, consequences and policy responses to missile proliferation;
- skills in critical analysis, independent judgment, and oral and written presentation to a level commensurate with taught post-graduate study.
The aims of the module are:
- To promote multidisciplinary understanding of concepts, issues and debates regarding nationalism and security
- To encourage understanding of the interaction between statehood and population groups
- To appreciate the relationship between national political discourse and the peace-conflict axis
- To foster conscious critical reading and discussion of issues of ethnicity, identity, statehood, self-determination and self-protection
- To complement core course work on the social dimension of war, international order nexus of international peace and security
Students who successfully complete this module will have :
- Familiarity with key concepts of nationalism and security
- Understanding of the variety of relationships within and between states and social groups
- Understanding of the relationship of nationalism to various aspects of security
- Command of key concepts such as state, nation, nationalism, ethnicity, self-determination and security.
- Examined the relationship of nationalism to violence, inter-communal strife, and the instruments of state policy.
- Understanding of nationalism as both a challenge and a support of international order in the contemporary world.
- Examined literature on different approaches to nationalism in history and the social sciences
- Knowledge and understanding of nationalism and security in relation to specific empirical cases
- Explored the problems and possible solutions to contemporary issues of nationalism and security
The aim of the module is to discuss all the ramifications of natural resource conflicts in developing societies and to situate these within the nexus of security and development. The module is conceived against the increasing importance of natural resources in developing societies and the implications of the attendant conflicts to global peace. The module defines natural resources as all non-artificial products situated on or beneath the soil or rivers, which can be extracted, harvested or used and whose extraction, harvest or usage generate income or serve other functional purposes in benefiting mankind. The conflicts covered under the course include those between and within nations. Among others, the module focuses on the causes and nature of resource conflicts, their connection with local and global governance, the clash between local claims and national interest in resource politics, the link between international demand and pressures on local communities, the activities of warlords, the involvement of the international community in addressing these conflicts and the impact of globalisation on resource conflicts. The module also discusses all the contending debates on natural-resource conflicts and takes examples from across the world to illuminate the different manifestations and complexities of these conflicts.
At the end of the module, it is expected that students will be in a position to understand:
- the academic issues surrounding natural resource conflicts, especially the local and international issues that determine their causes and manifestations;
- the policy issues raised by these conflicts, especially the efforts by the international community like the Kimberley Process;
- Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and a host of others; andhow natural resource conflicts have stunted development and affected security in developing societies
(a) Contextualising "Natural resources" and "Conflict"
(b) The conflicts over land
(c) Mineral Resources and Conflict
(d) Water, Water resources and Conflict
(e) Governance and Conflicts over natural resources
(f) Globalization and Natural Resource Conflicts
The role of open source intelligence (OSINT) has assumed increasing prominence in intelligence communities since the end of the Cold War, largely as a result of the prolific growth of OSINT sources as a result of the rapid spread of worldwide use of the Internet. This module will cover thoroughly both theoretical and practical aspects of OSINT, including OSINT collection, analysis and management methodologies. The latter will be addressed by the application of OSINT by students to study varied case studies in two key security issues: nuclear non-proliferation and humanitarian crises.
This module will appeal most strongly to students taking the MA in Intelligence and International Security. However, it is anticipated that in line with the commitment of the Department of War Studies to the inter-disciplinary study of war, the module will appeal also to students on the whole range of existing MA programmes and contribute to their respective learning outcomes.
This module aims to provide students with:
- an understanding of the history, theory and use of OSINT;
- a critical understanding of the difference between collection and analysis of OSINT;
- specialised knowledge of the methods of collection and analysis of OSINT;
- a framework for applying these methods to two key security issues: nuclear non-proliferation and humanitarian crises;
- practical experience of the application of these methods in both individual and group contexts;
- and an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of these methods.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to carry out the following:
- plan and organise substantial OSINT projects;
- conduct highly advanced internet research, including the identification of rich sources of information, and the evaluation of the reliability and utility of sources;
- synthesise information from a range of sources, using the full variety of source formats (including hard copy and verbal communications in addition to online sources);
- perform a number of methods and modes of analysis;
- select these methods for use according to their suitability for collected sources;
- and to assess critically the theoretical rigour of their OSINT work.
Over the course of the past decade or so, a number of developments seemed to point to an increasing trend toward using judicial mechanisms to deal with post-conflict and transitional justice. The establishment of ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in 1993 and 1994, the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 1998, the inauguration of alternative forms of 'internationalized' justice in Sierra Leone, East Timor, Bosnia an Herzegovina, Kosovo and Cambodia and the apparent tendency toward the increased exercise of universal jurisdiction by national courts - all represented different approaches to prosecuting war crimes. Meanwhile, other processes have been tried with varying degrees of success, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and other combinations of truth commission and amnesty in parts of Latin America and Africa. It has also become evident that justice in a post-conflict society cannot be achieved if not pursued through rule of law and independent judiciary.
This module examines all of these developments within a framework combining aspects of international law with aspects of international relations, and focusing on the merits and disadvantages of a range of approaches and the relationship between peace and justice.
- To promote interdisciplinary understanding of issues of international law and international justice;
- To encourage understanding of the interaction between politics and law in the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity;
- To understand the interaction between peace, and sustainable reconciliation in divided societies;
- To foster conscious critical reading and discussion of issues of peace and justice.
The development and spread of weapons technology has always been of central importance in international relations, and it remains so in today's world with growing concern about the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons to both state and non-state actors. This module enables students to examine the causes, processes and effects of weapons proliferation, the evolution and effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime, and the various ways in which the international community, and states therein, have sought to counter the challenges posed by proliferation.
The aims of the module are:
- to provide students with a specialised knowledge of the causes, processes and effects of weapons proliferation as well as the evolution and effectiveness of the non-proliferation regime;
- to provide an understanding of international relations theory and the strategic concepts necessary to understand weapons proliferation as part of the security strategy of states and how this relates to other international security issues;
- to acquire a critical understanding of the significance of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the global order, including their historical role, contemporary trends and future direction;
- to utilise conceptual and theoretical frameworks to analyze and critically examine case studies of proliferation;
- to compare and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of historical and contemporary non-proliferation policies.
By the end of the module, students will have demonstrated:
- comprehensive knowledge of the empirical history of proliferation and non-proliferation;
- a sophisticated understanding of the link between proliferation and broader international security issues, including the causes of peace and war, military doctrine and strategy;
- an ability to engage critically with the concepts and theories of international relations and security studies and to use those tools to critically evaluate the causes, processes, consequences and policy responses to weapons proliferation;
- the development of critical analysis, independent judgment, and oral and written presentation to a level commensurate with taught post-graduate study.
Propaganda has been regarded as one of the key instruments of political practice since the beginning of the 20th century. Propaganda research played a crucial role in establishing the academic field of communication studies in the social sciences. After its heyday in the interwar and early post-cold war years, propaganda research has recently regained the attention of scholar investigating the nexus between information and warfare. This course traces the development of propaganda research over the last century up to the present day. The aim is to discover continuities and ruptures in order to conceptualise information strategies against the background of current conflicts and security issues.
This module aims to provide:
- a critical engagement with the idea of propaganda
- an appreciation of the political, sociological and psychological approaches to the study of propaganda
- a framework for understanding and analysing the impact and of persuasive communication on the media in times of war
- a critical appreciation of the relationship between government, the military and media organisations
- an awareness of how propaganda affects political decisions and public discourse
- a systematic investigation of the challenges media professionals face because of the emergence of 24/7 news coverage
- a critical understanding of the impact on new media on the proliferation of propaganda
On successfully completing the module students will demonstrate:
- in-depth knowledge of the role of propaganda in a number of historical and contemporary wars
- critical engagement in the methodological questions associated with the study of propaganda and persuasion
- a reflexive understanding of the dynamics of the military-media relationship in times of war
- an ability to analyse the impact of persuasive communication techniques on wider domestic and international political decision-making and the ways in which the political establishment strives to control media output
- a critical awareness of propaganda devices, including still and moving images of war and suffering
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject and to undertake independent research
Rapid developments in communication technology have had a major impact on the relationship between information, security, war and terrorism. This course analyses war reporting by looking at the influence of political leadership, organisational factors in media structures, and the roles and norms of journalists. The course explores in depth the relationship between the military and the media, and how this relationship has been affected by recent technological changes and political developments. Special attention is given to journalistic representations of violence and the emergence of New Media in the reporting of war and terror. The first half of the course explores concepts and theories that help analyse war reporting. In the second term, these concepts are applied to specific cases, the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War as well as terrorist attacks.
This course aims to provide:
- a framework for understanding and analysing the impact and the role of the media in times of war
- a critical appreciation of the relationship between the military and media organisations
- an awareness of how war reporting affects political decisions and public opinion
- a systematic investigation of the challenges military and political decision-makers as well as editors face because of the emergence of 24/7 news coverage
- a critical understanding of media effects and media psychology
- practice in qualitative and quantitative research methods
- critical analysis, independent judgement, oral and written presentation at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study
On successfully completing the course students will demonstrate:
- an in-depth knowledge of the media coverage of a number of historical and contemporary wars
- a critical engagement in the methodological questions associated with the study of the media and war reporting
- a reflexive understanding of the dynamics of the military-media relationship in times of war and the clash of fundamental interests (secrecy versus publicity)
- an ability to analyse critically of the impact of war reporting on wider domestic and international political decision-making and the ways in which the political establishment strives to control media output
- a critical awareness of the impact of images of war and suffering on the general audience
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject and to undertake independent research
Module code: 7SSWM023
Credit level: 7
The module aims to provide students with an appreciation of the theoretical and empirical links between organisational and community responses to the phenomena of terrorism; facilitate an understanding of the impact of responses to terrorism on both health and government systems; facilitate an understanding of the impact of terrorism on both an individual (mental/physical health/behaviour) and community level; enable students to develop a critical awareness of the role of organisations in countering terror and increasing resilience in society, as well as the problems encountered by organisations responsible for responding to terrorism; enable students to understand the different information needs and concerns of emergency responders, healthcare providers, and members of the public for a variety of terrorist attacks, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents; encourage critical reflection on counter terrorism approaches, the public acceptability of counter terror technologies, and the way in which strategic interventions that incorporate public perceptions of risk and effective risk communication help reduce vulnerability to terrorist acts, and facilitate greater governmental, organisational and community engagement in responding to the threat of terrorism.
This module is one of the compulsory elements in the MA in Science and Security. It is also available as an option for students on other MA programmes. The module investigates the impact of nuclear and biological weapons on international security. In order to do so, we first gain a knowledge of key concepts and theories in International Relations and Security Studies.
We then turn to the science and technology involved in these weapons. Given that acquiring fissile material is the biggest technical challenge faced by proliferators, managing the fuel cycle is key to preventing proliferation—and so it is there that we will begin. Following that, we will then look at the science of nuclear warheads, focusing on the main developments in warhead technology since the 1940s. The effects of these weapons will also be discussed and contrasted with those from radiological devices which a more likely target for non-state actors. With the potential to cause mass deaths at low cost, biological weapons have been called the 'poor man's nuclear weapon'. Emphasis will be placed on what recent developments in the biosciences, the advent and proliferation of genetic engineering techniques in particular, mean for preventing the proliferation of biological weapons. We then examine the means of delivering nuclear and biological warheads by focusing on the technology underpinning ballistic and cruise missiles and contrasting these methods with other systems.
Drawing on these two bodies of knowledge, we then use deterrence theory to analyses the impact of nuclear and biological weapons on state security. This is followed by an analysis of the political and technological challenges of attributing an attack with nuclear or biological weapons. We also investigate the threat posed by these weapons in the hands of non-state actors. Finally we conclude with an examination of two important current issues the scientific and political feasibility of 'new' nuclear weapons and the possibility of developing robust systems for verifying nuclear disarmament.
The aims of the module are:
- Familiarize students with the basic science underlying key nuclear and biological weapons and their delivery systems
- Develop a systematic understand of the key concepts and theories from the fields of international relations and security studies, especially as they relate to the analysis of nuclear and biological weapons
- Provide a framework for the original analysis of the historical and contemporary role of scientific and technical issues and developments in international security
- Foster the capacity of critical analysis, independent judgement and communication at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study
Students who successfully complete this module will have:
- A basic understanding of the science underlying nuclear and biological weapons
- An understanding of the relevance of the science to key policy problems
- Critically engaged with the key concepts and theories used in security studies and applied those concepts and theories to an analysis of biological and nuclear weapons
- Exercised informed and independent judgment on the primary intellectual and policy debates regarding nuclear and biological weapons
- Practiced a range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills, through participation in classes and through the preparation and submission of module work
This module seeks to develop a broad understanding of security issues that have emerged in the former Soviet Union (FSU) since 1992. It will consider the ways that the security environment changed for these states during the 1990s, and how it has continued to develop in the twenty-first century. In so doing, the module will examine traditional security concerns as well as new threats that have arisen in the regions of the FSU. The module will approach the concept of security from a perspective wider than that of military policy, to include crime, ecological issues as well as traditional doctrinal thinking and military developments.
By the end of this module, students should:
- have a critical understanding of the main trends in the security politics of the FSU, the development of these trends from the early 1990s into the twenty-first century, and the impact of the Soviet legacy and Russian regional power on them;
- be aware of the main security challenges to and from the different regions of the FSU;
- be able to demonstrate critical engagement with the academic literature on post-Soviet security.
To achieve this, the module is divided into four sections:
- The Soviet approach to security and security structures. This provides the historical and political background for thinking about security issues in the FSU.
- Post-Soviet Russian security policy, structures, assumptions and challenges, including security relations with other states, and the wars in Chechnya.
- Security in the other post-Soviet states. This section will consider each region of the former Soviet Union in particular, highlighting security issues common to these regions and the security policy responses of the new states.
- Security issues common to the post-Soviet space, including non-traditional security threats and the main security challenges for the future.
This module analyses the origins, prevention and impact of terrorism through a psychological lens, with emphasis on social psychological theories and approaches. It will provide an overview of the key social and psychological theories of terrorism and their application in relation to (a) understanding and preventing terrorism, and (b) understanding community responses to terrorism. Students will be introduced to applied research, competing perspectives and be encouraged to critically engage with this material.
The aims of the module are:
To provide students with knowledge and understanding of key social and psychological theories of terrorism.
- To provide students with an understanding of the social dimensions of the origins and prevention of terrorism and their application in de-radicalisation.
- To facilitate an understanding of public responses to terrorism, both in the immediate context of a terrorist event and in relation to the impact that terrorism has on the wider community.
- To provide students with an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of applying social and psychological theories to the origins, prevention and impact of terrorism.
- To encourage critical engagement with the research literature and provide a nuanced understanding of the challenges associated with conducting research in this field.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to demonstrate:
- An understanding of the key social and psychological factors that may lead to violent radicalisation.
- An understanding of how social and psychological theory can be applied to preventing terrorism.
- An ability to critically evaluate the effectiveness of de-radicalisation programmes.
- An appreciation of public knowledge, understanding, attitudes and responses to terrorist threats.
- An awareness of the role of the media in public understandings of terrorism and its impact on immigration and security policy.
- An awareness of critical perspectives, challenges and controversies associated with terrorism research.
- An ability to critically reflect upon the application of theory in real-world settings
The aim of this module will be to provide students with an understanding of contemporary military operations, in the light of economic, social, technological and political changes affecting the environment in which these operations take place. Conflicts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be covered. The module will build on issues raised in the MA core and provide an opportunity for those students who wish to develop further their interest in contemporary strategic issues. Recent events - including the 'war on terror' - provide the backdrop to this module, and there is flexibility to adjust to any further developments. It is important, however, to provide perspective and to consider other types of military operation. The weekly sessions will provide the historical and analytical context for the current debates.
Upon successfully completing this module, students will be reasonably familiar with:
- Contemporary debates on the changing character of armed conflict, and in particular the importance of resources and identity;
- The shift from interstate wars to "wars among the people";
- A number of recent conflicts and their inter-connectedness;
- The history and uses of terrorism;
- The nature of the international jihadi groups and the world from which they spring;
- The changing technology of warfare and the impact of the 'information age';
- Questions of legitimacy and the role of the media and international law;
- The relevance of weapons of mass destruction;
- Issues of casualty intolerance and asymmetry;
- The problems of research into contemporary conflicts.
This MA option considers the evolution of insurgency and counterinsurgency from the Maoist version of peoples' war in rural China to the emergence of global jihad in the 21st Century.
- to analyse the moral and legal arguments for and against the use of political violence and explain the relationship of urbanisation and social transition to the use of political violence;
- to provide a social and historical context from which to understand the application and utility of insurgency doctrine during the period of the Cold War;
- to analyse the reasons behind the proliferation of insurgent forms after the end of the Cold War;
- to conceptualise emerging trends of globally organised violence after 11th September 2000;
- to assess the principles which underwrite the development of counter-insurgency strategy and to practice critical analysis, independent judgement, oral and written presentation skills at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study.
It sets out to explain:
- The moral and legal arguments for and against the use of political violence
- The characteristics of Maoist insurgency doctrine
- The principles which underwrite counter insurgent strategies
- How Maoist insurgency doctrine was applied during the Cold War
- How urbanisation and social change altered the nature and techniques of political violence
- The relationship between insurgent movements and the media
- Different insurgent forms which emerged after the end of the Cold War
- Different ways of understanding emerging trends of globally organised violence after 9/11
- The development of post 9/11 counter strategy for the political violence arising from global movements.
Drawing upon a range of historical and contemporary case studies, this course is designed to give students an understanding of the origins and evolution of the modern British intelligence machinery. In tracing the developments of the various agencies that constitute British intelligence, the course will seek to explore the nature of British intelligence, which at the heart revolves around the workings of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). In doing so it will focus on the disciplines of intelligence (signals intelligence, human intelligence, espionage etc), as well as its products. It will focus on the effects of intelligence gathering on decision making, particularly in the realm of national security and military policy. It will use a variety of case studies to explore and illustrate persistent issues related to the study of intelligence.
This module aims to provide:
- A framework for understanding intelligence, what it is and how it works.
- A critical appreciation of the intelligence cycle, and of the role of the JIC in particular.
- A systematic investigation into how intelligence producers interact with intelligence consumers.
- An examination, through the use of historical and contemporary case studies, into intelligence successes and failures.
- An introduction to the origins and composition of a JIC assessment, through the use of practical investigation.
- The environment for developing critical analysis, independent judgment, and oral and written presentation at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study.
Upon completion of the module students will be able to demonstrate:
- An appreciation of the way in which intelligence plays a role in governmental affairs.
- A critical engagement with the methodological issues associated with the study of intelligence, within the wider context of governmental decision-making.
- A clear understanding of the sources used to study intelligence.
- An in-depth knowledge of the role played by British intelligence in policy making.
- An ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject, and to undertake primary, independent research.
- A range of transferable skills, including the use of oral presentations, multimedia presentations, written work, and group work.
Module code: 7SSWM185
Credit level: 7
This course considers the conceptual difficulties involved with the term 'imperialism' in understanding current and past global conflict. Taking an historical perspective on the evolution of western European empires, it challenges many current definitions. Though the British Empire necessarily looms large, the course takes a comparative approach to western empires since the fifteenth century, examining the changing motivation, method, and perceived purpose of expansion. In this way, it will assess in particular the relative role of military asymmetry and of coercion in global history to the present day.
Israel's presence in the "occupied territories" has now persisted for over forty years, during which time the number of Jewish settlers in these lands has grown dramatically and Israeli control over the territories has been strengthened by the use of checkpoints, bypass roads, military operations and, most recently, the construction of a "security fence". Palestinians perceive themselves to be a society under occupation. There are different views about the causes of this occupation, and even about whether "occupation" is an appropriate word to describe the situation in these areas. This module looks at the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights from 1967 to present as a case of Military Occupation.
It analyses the methods used by Israelis and Palestinians in their struggle to control these disputed lands.
Having successfully completed the module, students will have gained an ability to demonstrate:
- An understanding of the term "military occupation".A familiarity with a variety of sources on military occupation.
- A comprehensive understanding of the main turning points, themes and issues related to the Israeli occupation from 1967 to present.
- An understanding of the ways the Military Government and the Civil Administration function.
- An understanding of how the building of Jewish settlements affects the Palestinians and the resources, particularly, water and land.
Module code: 7SSWM148
Credit level: 7
Drawing upon a wide range of historical and contemporary case studies, the course provides an empirically informed examination of the role and nature of intervention and the place of intervention in contemporary global politics. It explores historical and contemporary debates on the literature of intervention, and examines the motives behind, and the decision for, intervention, on the modality of such intervention, the political measures required to achieve the intervention purposes, the timing and the method of disengagement, and the outcome of intervention. The course is concerned with the structural as well as ideational aspects affecting key intervening actors, and to this end, the role of ideology and personalities, as well as the changing parameters of sovereignty, the declining value of the strategy of containment, and the issue of legitimacy in relation to international law and public opinion, will also be considered. The course will consider numerous case studies of major interventions, including the American-led UN intervention in the Korean Civil War (1950-1953), America's involvement in the conflict in Vietnam (1965-1973), the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan (1979-1991), humanitarian interventions in the 1990s, such as in Somalia (1992-3) and Kosovo (1999), and the recent intervention in Iraq to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Module code: 7SSWM104
Credit level: 7
This course provides a comprehensive view of the proliferation challenges in the areas of nuclear, chemical, biological, conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. It considers the reasons why states and non-state groups might seek Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles. It examines the conventional arms trade in the Cold War and post-Cold War periods and analyses the problem of landmine proliferation. It assesses the utility of the various measures available which are designed to inhibit proliferation: export controls, arms control, regime formation, multilateral arrangements, regional initiatives, defensive military responses, international law, etc.
In a little studied, though important, passage in On War, Carl von Clausewitz declared that 'in war the result is never final'. What did he mean by this? Clausewitz, it seems, was suggesting that although our common conception of war is one characterised by the clash of organised armed force, the origin of war itself is more complex. Although war may resolve major clashes of interest, does it denote the cessation of all resistance? What, when it boils down, actually is resistance as a concept? It is these ambiguous and interesting questions that this course will explore. In particular, this module focuses on how people come into conflict with ruling systems and why they choose to live in opposition to political conditions where dissent is punished and the personal costs of disputing the status quo are high? Why do they take stands against systems of rule or orthodoxy that can result in exclusion, lack of preferment, persecution or even extreme personal danger? Through academic literature, memoirs, novels and film, this module will examine the nature of dissidence and resistance with the aim of asking the fundamental question: where does the concept of war truly begin, on the battlefield, or in the mind?
The module aims to cover the following issues and questions:
1) What does it mean to resist? Where can we situate mental resistance in the spectrum of war?
2) The nature of dissidence: who becomes a dissident and why?
3) In what political and social contexts does dissidence occur?
4) What are the personal, moral costs and dilemmas associated with dissidence?
5) What is the consequence of a study of dissidence for the understandings of war?
On completion of this module students will have attained a knowledge and understanding of the following:
1) The complexity of the origins and the nature of war and the extent to which it can be said to originate in acts of mental resistance.
2) The nature of systems that cause resistance and dissidence.
3) The moral, ethical and political problems that dissidence and resistance can cause.
4) Why, and at what costs, does one become a dissident?
5) The role of moral conscience in politics
An April 2010 poll showed that 88% of the UK defence and security community supported the statement that 'the UK needs a radical reassessment of the position it wants, and is able to play, in the world.' (www.rusi.org)
Yet there is no consensus about what the results of such a reassessment should be. Some of the key contours of foreign policy debate – competing demands from global, European and Atlantic commitments, the role of values and responsibility in foreign policy, the consequences of relative decline – are remarkably similar to those discussed in the 1960's. But both the world and the UK have changed dramatically in the last half century. The threat of major international war, so dominant in foreign policy during most of the 20th century, has diminished sharply, to be replaced by a wide range of transnational threats and challenges. The role of sub-state domestic actors – diasporas, businesses, NGOs – has grown in importance, as has the role of European and international cooperation. The dividing line between domestic and foreign policy has become increasingly blurred, and constitutional change may further limit the powers of the central executive. Across a wide range of issues – military intervention, aid, human rights, climate change – there is no national consensus on what the UK's role should be. As in the 1960's, the depth of the UK's fiscal crisis means that it will not be able to escape the 'radical reassessment' that experts agree is needed.
The purpose of this module is to help students to develop a more sophisticated understanding of these issues, and in particular the context, relationships and actors that shape UK foreign policy. It will be of interest to those with a specific interest in UK politics and policy, and also to others interested in foreign policy analysis more generally.
The Module Convenor, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, is Visiting Professor of Defence and Foreign Policy in the Department. He is also Professorial Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), and previously worked in the FCO as Special Adviser to the Foreign Secretary. Further details are available on http://www.rusi.org/about/staff/
The module aims are:
- to provide an understanding of the key trends in UK foreign policy since World War Two, and the main forces that have shaped them;
- to introduce students to key debates on the UK's role in the world;
- to develop a more sophisticated appreciation of the interaction between historical legacy, economic and strategic interests, and domestic politics in the formation of the foreign policy of a middle-sized power.
Upon successful completion of this module, students will have:
- developed an increased understanding of the main continuities, and discontinuities, of UK foreign policy in the modern era;
- attained an increased ability to critically analyse, and contribute to, debates on foreign policy;
- demonstrated an ability to reflect critically on a range of primary and secondary literature;
- reflected upon, and improved, their research and learning styles.
Module code: 7SSWM011
Credit level: 7
This module will introduce students to the conditions and practices of U.S. foreign and security policy and is divided into three parts. After an introductory discussion of what constitutes foreign and security policy studies, we will first look at theories of international relations and how far they frame our analyses of US foreign and security policies. To obtain a short overview of the historical evolution of US foreign policy in the 'long' 20th century excerpts from some select 'classics' (George F. Kennan, William Appleman Williams, Paul Kennedy, Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington) will be read and crucial phases in the history of US foreign policy analysed. In the second part of the module, the various determinants of foreign policy as well as its instruments will be address. Focusing on structure, function, and agency in the foreign policy process the following areas will be cover: 1) ideas, ideologies and traditions, 2) institutions, 3) actors, 4) instruments and 5) international system. The last part of the module will be devoted to analysing various case studies both showcasing recent foreign policy issues and security dilemmas as well as the nexus between domestic and foreign policies. They express current fundamental transitions in the international world such as the changing security environment, the globalising economy and the growing number of transnational issues. Topics include 'rogue states' and non-proliferation, military intervention and nation-building, terrorism, globalisation and trade, energy and climate change, human rights and foreign assistance. Case studies have been selected so as to cover diverse issue areas while at the same time examining US foreign policy towards different regions in the world, among them Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
From the end of the Second World and throughout the era that came to be known as the Cold War, the Middle East was a battleground for Great Power rivalries and constant wars and insurgencies. These were fought between Israelis and Arabs, Arabs and Iranians, Arabs and Arabs, local actors and foreign invaders. This module will analyse these wars and insurgencies by focusing, in particular, on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf Wars and Insurgencies in the Occupied Territories, Lebanon and Iraq. The role of the superpowers – the US and the USSR – will also be examined.
The aims of the module are to:
- provide students with the necessary concepts and tools to analyse the causes and lessons of conflicts in the Middle East, particularly between Israelis and Arabs and in the Gulf region.
- provide students with tools to analyse insurgency in the Middle East, particularly in the occupied territories, Lebanon and Iraq.
- introduce students to specific topics such as oil, water, demography, arms proliferation and more and assess its impact on conflict in the Middle East.
- introduce students to the main sources of information on war and insurgency in the Middle East.
- provide students with tools and background to enable them to critically engage with debates on war and insurgency in the Middle East.
A successful student will be able to:
- apply his / her understanding of the causes, conduct and lessons of war to the Middle Eastern region and analyse such case studies as the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran-Iraq war and more.
- analyse the motives and methods of insurgency groups operating in the Middle East.
- explain how water, demography, arms proliferation and more affect conflict in the region.
- engage critically with the literature on the subject, to undertake independent research and to communicate effectively about war and insurgency issues in the Middle East to a level commensurate with MA-level study.
ACADEMIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
General entry advice
Minimum 2:1 first degree in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject or an equivalent qualification from a British or overseas university; GPA must be above 3.3 (USA). Applicants must have English language competence. However we offer a two year programme built around the department's existing MA programmes and incorporating dedicated English language tuition.
APPLYING TO KING'S
To apply for graduate study at King's you will need to complete our graduate online application form. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.
King's does not normally accept paper copies of the graduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online graduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.
All applications are assessed by a committee of academic tutors. This process takes on average eight weeks.
PERSONAL STATEMENT & SUPPORTING INFORMATION
Please provide a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme, and outlining any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.
Students are generally self-funded.
Related programme student profile
International Peace & Security MA
I chose to do my postgraduate studies at King’s due to the outstanding international reputation, and high graduate employability. Not only is my course unique to King’s, so is its War Studies Department; and this along with it being located in the centre of London (which offers so many opportunities complimentary to my studies) attracted me to the College.
Studying at King’s and living in London has also given me the chance to meet so many different people from across the globe and get involved in a range of activities, and this really serves to broaden my horizons. I have observed Parliament from the Strangers Gallery, and have attended a public lecture by the Chilean President. I have even secured an internship with the type of company I would like to work for after my studies.
All these factors combine to give me such a well-rounded and fulfilling educational experience, which I could not receive at home in South Africa. It is for these reasons that I would recommend King’s to anyone.