The MA in Science and Security is designed to provide an integrated understanding of science and international politics. Developments in technology are central to all aspects of international conflict, and a multidisciplinary understanding of these developments is necessary to fully comprehend their policy implications. Topics include nuclear weapons, arms control verification, cyber security, and terrorism.
- A unique programme designed to develop students' abilities to understand and analyse the security implications of scientific and technological developments, utilising knowledge and tools of analysis from the hard sciences, political science, history, philosophy and the sociology.
- The Centre for Science and Security Studies, based in the Department of War Studies, provides a vibrant home for the MA. The Centre has a growing cadre of PhD students and researchers, and sponsors its own speaker series. Students on the MA are encouraged to apply for internships (on Centre research projects and/or with other relevant institutions in London, such as the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) and IISS).
- With a typical 50-50 mix of students with a hard science versus social science/humanities background, the programme provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn from each other as well as from staff and visiting lecturers; in recent years students have institutionalised this by forming their own reading group.
- Students have access to visiting academics, serving officers, government ministers and other experts who give regular public lectures and seminars.
- The Department of War Studies is unique in the UK and one of very few university departments in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon.
- 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.
Read what Jessica, a War Studies Graduate says about this programme here
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.
Dr Susan Martin and Dr Chris Hobbs
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.
6-10 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 is designed to provide students with an integrated understanding of science and international politics to cope with the demands of the emerging security agenda.
There is an increased need in today's world to understand the security implications of scientific and technological developments. While science and technology have always affected national and international security, current developments in the fields of space, nuclear and biological weapons, and long-range missiles as well as work in emerging fields such as biotechnology and information technology suggest that the impact of science on security is becoming more diverse as well as more central to policy planners. At the same time, individuals and sub-national groups have more access to new technologies than ever before.
The programme is designed to provide students with an integrated understanding of science and politics. This involves developing an understanding of the science underlying key weapons systems and technologies, the main concepts and tools of international politics and security studies, and the process by which scientists and policymakers can interact productively in the policy process. The goal is to equip students to analyse the impact of current and future scientific developments on security.
Students will have the opportunity to build on the compulsory modules in Science and Security to focus on aspects of the historical and contemporary international security environment through optional modules and a dissertation on an approved topic.
The programme is designed for those who wish to work at the interface of science and security policy. It will be of specific interest to: students with a 'hard science' background who also have an interest in security issues; students of politics, history, international relations and strategic studies; those with practical experience in the scientific field who may wish to reflect on the wider issues and implications of their experience or who may wish to make a career change from research to a policy-oriented field; and professionals in areas such as defence, diplomacy and foreign affairs who work on issues where science and technology set limits and offer opportunities to the policy maker.
Core programme content
The MA programme contains the following elements:
- Two compulsory modules (worth 40 credits in total). Please click on the link below under the MODULE heading for module descriptions.
- The Science of Biological and Nuclear Weapons
- Current Issues in Science and Security
- Optional modules chosen from a range of possibilities
(worth 80 credits in total). Please see the 2011 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.
Indicative non-core content
The Science of Biological and Nuclear Weapons is to be taken in the first term and is followed by Current Issues in Science and Security in the second term. The dissertation is to be written over the summer term. You may choose your own topic but it must address some aspect of the science and security interface and must be approved by a member of staff. Part-time students are advised to take the compulsory modules in their first year of study and write their dissertation in their second year.
- 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 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
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
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.
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.
Are contemporary conflicts in the so-called 'South' and interventionist wars manifestations of late modern modes of colonisation and global relations of power? Are race and cultural difference elements that should be taken into account in our understandings of the discourses, practices, and institutions of international politics?
Postcolonial authors highlight the constitutive relationship between colonial domination and modernity. The challenge of a postcolonial reading of the international is its revelation of the Eurocentric particularity of the universal subject of politics, and the relationship between racial and cultural difference and systems of power/knowledge. The aim in this module is to engage with the literature in postcolonial social and political thought, focusing in particular on the continuities of the colonial legacy in late modern practices of conflict, structures of domination, and modes of resistance in global politics.
The aims of the module are:
- To provide students with the capacity to engage critically with the universalising categories associated with theorising the international, relating conceptions of subjectivity to cultural difference and frameworks of knowledge.
- To engage students with key concepts and critiques deriving from postcolonial readings of global politics, including sovereignty, modernity, subjectivity, power, and resistance.
- To develop students' capacity for critique, specifically in relation to traditional understandings of the relationship between 'North' and 'South'.
- To enable reflection on the implications of the colonial legacy in understanding the international and what constitutes knowledge, facticity, and method in social and political thinking related to international relations.
- To develop students' appreciation of the postcolonial critique through an engagement with the primary voices that have influenced postcolonial thinking in International Relations and across the disciplines.
- To focus on issues relating to race and cultural difference and how these relate to conflict, structures of domination, and resistance in late modern conditions in global politics.
- To engage with the question of race and the modern state.
- To highlight the so-called 'woman question' and its place in the colonial legacy and continuities in practices of domination to the present.
- To juxtapose modern conceptions of subjectivity with the colonial, the postcolonial and subaltern.
- To enable reflection on late modern interventionist practices and the place of race and culture as constitutive moments in these practices.
By the end of the module, students will:
- Have the capacity to engage critically with the postcolonial literature, and specifically with postcolonial understandings of international politics.
- Have the intellectual tools necessary to critically draw upon the postcolonial challenge as this relates to the conceptual, theoretical, and philosophical understandings of the international.
- Have the skills to design a research project focusing on the themes of the module.
- Be able to reflect upon the relationship between coloniality and modernity and its implications for the postcolonial experience as this relates to questions of sovereignty and self-determination.
- Reflect upon the relationship between contemporary manifestations of conflict, interventionist warfare and the colonial legacy.
- Be able to engage with gender, the colonial legacy, and the postcolonial experience, as well as the so-called 'woman question' and the politics of racial and cultural difference.
- Be able to conduct research on and reflect on race and cultural difference and how these relate to conflict, structures of domination, and resistance in late modern conditions in global politics.
- Be able to reflect upon questions of political subjectivity, specifically in relation to the modern, the colonial and the postcolonial.
- To engage critically with primary voices in the postcolonial literature and their contributions to our understanding of identity, cultural diversity, power, and the politics of representations.
- To articulate a postcolonial understanding of the state, globalisation, and modes of resistance.
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.
Counterterrorism is one of the most prominent and contentious issues in security policy today. This module aims to provide a comparative understanding of contemporary counterterrorist organisations, operations and legislation in leading European countries and the United States. On this basis, we will analyse and debate the balance between liberty and security in counterterrorism; and the relative merits of hard power and soft power in responses to terrorism. The module also considers questions such as: why do states often respond to terrorism in different ways; what makes for an effective counterterrorist response?; and is terrorism an effective strategy for coercing governments?
The module aims to provide:
- a critical analysis of the evolution of counterterrorist strategies in leading European countries and the United States;
- a comparative perspective on anti-terrorist legislation and legal frameworks in liberal democracies;
- a ‘ground-up’ understanding of counterterrorist investigations, particularly the relationship between intelligence, police and prosecution as it operates in different countries;
- a detailed understanding of counterterrorist operational decision-making and operational outcomes;
- a critical engagement with academic and public debates on the relationship between liberty and security and the relative merits of hard power and soft power in responses to terrorism;
- an understanding of the latest research on counterterrorism effectiveness and the debate on whether or not terrorist violence is an effective way to extract concessions from governments;
- a contribution to students’ development of critical analysis skills, and a level of oral and written presentation appropriate to postgraduate study.
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.
- 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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.
This half-module offers students the chance to study the important conceptual, historical and contemporary themes within the ambit of intelligence and its relationship to the practice of warfare in the twentieth century. A particular emphasis of this module will be to illustrate the way that issues in intelligence permeate, or shade-off into, particular types of warfare and military operations characterised by covert activities, which sometimes form a specifically identifiable component within individual conflicts that can be classified as wars within wars. This module will explore how certain wars remain in the shadows and how they might be characterised as dirty wars and secret wars. The module will approach these themes utilising a strategic approach to comprehend the uses and objectives of these shadow wars and emphasise an ethical appreciation of the peculiar moral dilemmas that this particular type of war phenomenon induces.
On completion of the module students will demonstrate:
- A comprehension of the conceptual issues associated with how to define and understand intelligence related phenomena and their impact on warfare.
- An appreciation of how to identify the characteristics and dynamics of conflicts that may be termed dirty war and secret war.
- Through select case studies attain the ability to dissect and analyse forms of conflict that may be termed wars within wars.
- An understanding of the kinds of problems and moral dilemmas generated by these forms of warfare.
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.
Science & Security MA
The Department of War Studies at King's is world class, highly respected and well known, which gives the student all the advantages of studying under the leading scholars in the field of international relations, taking unique programmes and accessing the considerable resources of the department.
Its reputation attracts leading figures in military and foreign policy circles to deliver guest lectures and seminars which gives students the opportunity to interact with some of the key players in their field of study. Leading NGO, private, governmental and international organisations in security, development and defence areas have links with the department and circulate employment, work experience and visiting opportunities among its students.
Situated at the Strand Campus in the heart of London, you have access not only to the excellent resources of the King's libraries but also the LSE library, the British Library and the British Museum, all valuable resources close by. Living in London as a student is exciting and rarely dull. The opportunities for part-time work are many, and money-saving activities such as cycling are well-provided for.