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International Institutions and Security Governance



This seminar aims to critically examine relevant actors and institutional arrangements as well as complex structures that deal with “security” concerns on the global agenda; together with security discourses and the subsequent policies. Security governance in this course denotes the international rules, regimes and mechanisms to govern a number of security issues by a variety of actors. We will first explore the contending definitions of security and discuss insights provided by different theoretical approaches to global security. We will then analyze the role of several actors such as international and regional arrangements in the governance of both traditional and non-traditional security issues including war, intrastate conflict, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, human rights, environmental degradation, migration, human trafficking and diseases. This seminar will also examine the ways in which security discourses regarding the “new threats” are framed.

Course Objectives

After successful completion of this course, students are expected to:

  • understand the major concepts of and theoretical approaches to security governance;

  • have a good understanding of security governance practices

  • grasp the ways in which new issues are securitized

  • analyze/examine/critically review the different roles played by international and regional institutions;

  • reflect on the challenges and prospects of security governance in selected issue areas;

  • find, evaluate and critically analyse relevant academic literature and other documents relating to security;

  • discuss findings orally and in writing using the appropriate formats;

  • develop skills of presentation and group communication techniques.

Mode of instruction

Interactive seminars build around specific ‘session questions’, input by the lecturer, small group exercises, and case studies presented by the students.
Assessment method
Student assessments will be based on in-class participation, presentation of a case study and two essays.

Study Material

Readings will be a mixture of book chapters and journal articles. A syllabus with the reading list will be made available through Brightspace in time.


See general information on tab 'Year 3'