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Governance of Security


Admission requirements

Mandatory course for students enrolled in the bachelor’s programme Security Studies.


The overall course objective is to deepen knowledge of strategies, actors, levels and dilemmas in governing contemporary security challenges. As a result of broad societal changes, influential technological developments and a growing complexity of security issues, amongst others, authorities throughout the world increasingly govern security in partnerships and networks with other public and private actors at local, regional, national and global levels. On the one hand, this shift offers opportunities–and some argue it is necessary–in dealing with complex security problems such as terrorism, cyber threats or itinerant criminal gangs that cannot be easily tackled independently by traditional state actors such as the national police. On the other hand, this multi-actor, multi-level mode of governance comes with its own set of challenges.

The course critically reviews classic and contemporary strategies and modes of governing security, explains their origins, rise and factors affecting their functioning and discusses key questions, themes and dilemmas for designing, implementing and evaluating the governance of security. The course elaborates these topics with reference to recent conceptual developments in public policy, security studies, international relations as well as the history, sociology and philosophy of technology, and their relevant insights for security governance. A guest lecture complements the knowledge developed in this course by bringing a practitioner’s view on security governance.

Course objectives

After the course students are able to:

  • Acquire knowledge and understand strategies, actors, levels and dilemmas in governing security challenges.

  • Acquire knowledge and understand relevant concepts, theories and methods from the perspectives of public policy, security studies, international relations and philosophy of technology.

  • Apply acquired knowledge mentioned in the first two objectives to concrete cases of security governance.

  • Reflect on governance practices in terms of legitimacy, transparency, accountability and effectiveness.


On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

7 lectures
4 course labs in smaller groups

Attendance for the course labs is mandatory. If you miss more than 1 course lab you fail the course and won’t obtain a final grade.

Total study load of 140 hours:

  • Contact hours: 33

  • Self-study hours: 104

  • Examination: 3

Assessment method

Mid-term exam

  • 25% of final grade.

  • Grade must be compensated.

  • Resit not possible.

Final exam

  • 75% of final grade

  • Grade must be 5.50 or higher to pass the course.

  • Resit of a fail is possible.

  • Resit will take the same form.

Transitional Arrangement
Passed partial grades obtained in year 2019-2020 remain valid during year 2020-2021.

Reading list

A selection of books and articles, to be announced on Brightspace.


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis.
Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. Important information about the course is posted here.
After enrolment for the course in uSis you are also enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Ir. dr. Vlad Niculescu-Dinca