Accessibility statement

New Security Challenges - POL00046M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Politics and International Relations
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Alex Hall
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Security is central to international politics, yet the way in which security is performed and conceptualised has become the subject of increasing debate and controversy. This module aims to provide an advanced appreciation of the key emerging security challenges in international politics today. The perspective is interdisciplinary (drawing on political and international studies, security studies and human geography, among others) and particularly emphasises ‘critical’ approaches to security issues. It will draw, too, on a range of topical empirical case studies to address the following guiding questions: What are today’s global security threats? How and why do particular domains of life become problems of security? What forms of power and authority are associated with contemporary international security agendas? How are the effects of security practices distributed within and among societies? How do efforts to secure ourselves produce threats and dangers in turn?

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have 1) acquired in-depth knowledge of a range of key debates in the field of security studies in contemporary international relations 2) gained an advanced understanding of the ‘critical turn’ within security studies – its contributions and limitations 3) developed their ability to evaluate a range of literatures and sources covered in the module to formulate academically-informed views on a range of global security issues 4) developed their skills of written and spoken argument within a small group setting

Module content

  1. Introduction: New Security Challenges - What is security?

  2. Securitisation and migration

  3. Postcolonial and the war on drugs

  4. Poststructuralism and drone warfare

  5. Feminism and gender based violence

  6. Security, poverty and inequality

  7. Borders, surveillance and global apartheid

  8. Environmental security and climate change

  9. Terrorism, Political Violence and the War on Terror

  10. Health Security and the Global Pandemic

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Colombia Peoples and Nick Vaughan-Williams (2014) Critical Security Studies (London: Routledge).

Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams (1997) Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases (London: Routledge).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.