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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

  • The student has acquired knowledge and understanding of strategies, actors, levels and dilemmas in governing security challenges.

  • The student has acquired knowledge and understanding of relevant concepts, theories and methods from the perspectives of public policy, security studies, international relations and philosophy of technology.

  • The student is able to apply acquired knowledge mentioned in the first two objectives to concrete cases of security governance.

  • The student is able to 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 Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

7 plenary lectures
4 course labs in smaller groups

Attendance for the course labs is mandatory. Missing more than 1 session will lead to a fail. In case of a fail no grades will be given, only a fail. This implies that a resit will not lead to a pass.

Course Load

Total study load of 140 hours:

  • Contact hours: 33

  • Self-study hours: 104

  • Examination: 3

Assessment method

  1. Group paper: policy report based on serious game (20% in total / two components of 10%)

  2. Written exam (final) (70%)

  3. Participation (10%)


Students will be permitted to resit the final exam if they have a grade lower than 5,5.

Resits will take the same form.

The serious game cannot be meaningfully played beyond the duration of the course. Therefore, assignment 1 (group paper: policy report based on serious game) is not offered a resit. At the same time, it is not required to have a minimum grade of 5.5 for the components of this assignment. In case of a failed sub grade for assignment 1 it should be compensated by a successful grade for assignment 2 and 3 in order to pass the course (compensation the other way around is not possible).

The final, calculated grade needs to be at least 5,50 in order to pass the course.

Transitional arrangement

Students who participated in the course “Governance of Security” in the academic year 2018-2019 but did not manage to pass the course will take part in the following transitional arrangement:
1. Students who did not pass the individual paper (30%) will have to resubmit the paper (please contact the course coordinator for proposing the new topic and receiving a new deadline).
2. Students who did not pass the exam will have to take part in this year’s examination. The weight of last year’s examination will apply (50%).
3. Students who did not meet the attendance requirement, will have to redo the course with this year’s examinations structure. This implies taking part in all of this year’s examinations.


Course page will be available one week in advance

Reading list

Information on readings will be announced on Blackboard


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.

Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. 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. 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 there.


Dr. Vlad Niculescu-Dinca