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Security Networks and Technology


Admission requirements

  • Only students of the MSc Crisis and Security Management can take this course.

  • This course only offers a place to a maximum number of 38 students.

  • Students can only register for one elective.


One of the core concepts of the MA Crisis & Security Management is ‘governance’. In this course, we will focus on the interaction between the local level of security governance and technological developments. As a result of broad societal changes, historical events, and a growing complexity of security issues, authorities throughout the world increasingly govern security in partnerships and networks with other public and private actors (e.g., private security, technology developers, schools, housing corporations, shop owners, citizens, etc.).

At the same time, influential technological developments pose both opportunities and challenges to security governance. Smart urban infrastructures, big data, predictive algorithms, social media and surveillance technologies provide lots of opportunities for dealing with complex security problems that cannot be tackled independently by traditional security actors. However, this multi-actor, multi-level mode of governance comes with its own set of challenges.

In this course we will combine insights from public administration, security studies, surveillance studies, as well as philosophy of technology. We will discuss the history of security networks, what they look like, how they function, how to conceptualise their challenges and how to think about the role of digital technologies in security networks.

Course objectives

After finalising this course, students are able to:

  1. Critically apply theoretical knowledge on ‘real life’ security networks.
  2. Make interdisciplinary analyses of security networks and technologies and the factors that influence their functioning
  3. Understand the challenges of organising and running a security network.


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

Mode of instruction

This course consists of seven lectures, including guest lectures, workgroups and general debates.

Throughout the course we will play a serious game in which you will take the roles of various security actors. You will work towards the end goal of a policy report that should specify how to collectively organise, run and maintain a security network that deals with a particular security problem. The rules of the game will be presented in the first lecture.

Attendance is mandatory. Students are only allowed to miss one session if there are special, demonstrable personal circumstances. The Board of Examiners, in consultation with the study advisors, will decide on such an exceptional exemption of mandatory attendance.

Total study load 140 hours:

  • 21 Contact hours

  • 119 Self-study hours: reading, preparing lectures, assignments, etc.

Assessment method

Assessment for this course is based on three assignments:

Group paper,

  • 25% of final grade

  • Grade can be compensated in case of a fail (grade < 5.50)

  • Resit not possible.

Reflection Paper,

  • 25% of final grade

  • Grade can be compensated in case of a fail (grade < 5.50)

  • Resit not possible.

Final paper,

  • 50% of final grade

  • Grade cannot be compensated, a 5.50 is required to pass the course

  • Resit is possible

  • Resit will take the same form

Please note: the reflection paper mentioned above is a different assignment compared to the reflection notes that form part of the final CSM portfolio.

The calculated overall course grade must be at least 5.50 in order to pass the course. If the calculated overall course grade is lower than 5.50, students are also permitted to resit the 50% final paper

In the case of written assessment methods, the examiner can always initiate a follow-up conversation with the student to establish whether the learning objectives have been met.

Transitional Arrangement
Passed partial grades obtained in year 2022-2023 are no longer valid during year 2023-2024. All students are expected to enroll for an elective via mystudymap on a first come first serve basis.

Reading list

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


Register yourself via MyStudymap for each course, workgroup and exam (not all courses have workgroups and/or exams). Do so on time, before the start of the course; some courses and workgroups have limited spaces. You can view your personal schedule in MyTimetable after logging in.

Registration for this course is possible from t.b.a..

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in MyStudymap you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.

More information on registration via MyStudymap can be found on this page.


Dr. Vlad Niculescu-Dincă