Strategy, Security, and Contemporary Warfare

Course Description: 

This course is focused mainly on Strategic Studies; on the discipline’s major assumptions about the military sector of international security, from both traditional and more non-traditional (‘Critical’) perspectives. In doing so, the course will engage both IR (war as a generic phenomenon) and Foreign Policy (war as a policy-specific outcome) perspectives in analyzing the nature of contemporary warfare. 

Learning Outcomes: 

In this course, the aim is to explore both the form of the Contemporary RMA as well as the attempts of Security Studies scholars to justify the continuing relevance of existing conceptual approaches. It does so by focusing on a number of prominent shifts: the first, in the increased technologicalisation of organized militaries; the second, in the appearance of new modes of warfare (cyber- and non-linear, to name but a few); and the third in the increasing plurality of actors (from organized non-state through to terrorism and other forms of political violence.



Each student will be assessed through a combination of seminar contribution, oral presentation, and written work. There will be one oral presentation for each student, and which concentrates mostly on the assigned ‘key text’. In terms of written work, two literature reviews and one research paper is required. The literature review is 1,500 words long (plus/minus 10%), and should be written on topics different to the student’s oral presentation. (See guideline below). The research paper is 4,000 words long (again, plus/minus 10%), and will be an extension to one of the prior literature reviews.

    For the final grade: 15% is given to the oral presentation; 20% to each critique (40%); 35% to the research paper; with the remaining 10% being allotted to seminar attendance and contribution. Deadlines for all assessed work will be established in the first, introductory seminar.

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