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Power Instruments


Admission requirements

This course is designed for the minor Global Affaires. It is not possible to follow single courses of this minor. You need to be enrolled in Usis for the minor to be accepted to this course. There are 180 places open for registration, on a first come first serve basis, where LDE students are given priority.


This course addresses the main features and limitations of instruments of power at the international level. The course focuses on key players, i.e. major powers and non-states actors such as terrorist organizations. It investigates in detail the recourse to military power and/or economic sanctions in the cases of, for instance, Libya, Kosovo, or Syria, together with the resulting political backlashes and legitimacy questions.

The course also examines shortcomings arising from soft power usage, especially against the background of regionally diverging norms and values, and discusses new concepts such as hybrid warfare and strategic deterrence. The dilemmas and implications arising from the employment of specific power instruments will also be addressed from a practical perspective of decision-making.

Course objectives

The course objectives are:

  • To provide students with a theoretical knowledge of instruments of power and the practical challenges arising from their usage

  • To ensure students have a substantial knowledge of the pillars of power so as to be able to participate constructively in debates on global affairs

  • To enable students to conduct independent research and to critically assess and apply the literature

  • To enhance students’ analytical abilities in combination with their skills in writing, presenting and debating


The timetable will be displayed with a link on the website, blackboard and on the front page of this minor programma. The schedule 2018 will be published asap.

Mode of instruction

The class will consist mainly of lectures and class debates in which current affairs pertaining to the course content will be discussed and analyzed.

The course will conclude with a simulation game.

Attendance during the lectures is compulsory.

Course Load

The total study load for this course is 140 hours, consisting of:

21 hours attending lectures and seminars
30 hours writing papers
89 hours studying the compulsory literature

Participation in lectures, discussions and exercises is required in order to obtain a grade. For each missed class, an extra assignment needs to be made.

Assessment method

  • Research paper (50%)

  • Exam (50%)

Late hand in penalty: 0,5 minus per day, and after seven days we do not accept papers any longer.

The Course and Examination Regulation Security Studies and the Rules and Regulation of the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs apply.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

TBA on Blackboard.


Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.



All sessions will be in English.
Essays need to be written in English.