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Elective: International Security


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies who have succesfully completed the second year elective course.

The number of participants is limited to 25.


In the wake of the latest civil wars in the Syria and Libya, the Ukrainian crisis, the migration flows across the Mediterranean and the latest terrorist attacks, Europe and the world at large are facing a growing number of both old and new security challenges. In order to provide students with an understanding of the key debates in security studies, this course will be divided as follows.
The first part of the course will discuss the main theories and approaches to the study of security, ranging from realism to constructivism.
The second part will then analyze the most crucial security issues, such as, interstate and intrastate war, terrorism, the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, cybersecurity, environmental security and migrations.
The final component of the course will apply the knowledge developed in the first two parts to the analysis of some topical cases, such as the civil war in Syria, the Ukraine crisis and migrations across the Mediterranean. Alternative or additional case studies will be selected based on students’ interests and the latest news.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • identify the main state and non-state actors involved in the provision of security

  • evaluate the key debates and theories in the study of security

  • apply those theories to the study of relevant security issues


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Seminars and supervised research

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 280 hours

  • Hours spent on attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours

  • Readings, debates and presentation: 12 hours per week x 12 = 144 hours

  • Writing of final paper: 112 hours

Assessment method

  • Participation: 20%

  • Presentation(s): 20%

  • Final Paper: 60%

Students who submitted a paper but failed to obtain a passing grade can resubmit their final paper within three weeks after the grade has been released.

Note: The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission of the final essay is a 6.0


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

A reading list will be distributed at the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. E. Cusumano, email