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Security Networks and Technology


Admission requirements

Only students enrolled in the MSc Crisis and Security Management can take this course.


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 to the effectiveness and legitimacy of security governance.

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 conceptualize their challenges and how to think about the role of information technologies in security networks.

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 organize, 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.

Course objectives

  • Students are able to reproduce the most important theoretical contributions to the study of (local) security networks and of technology (from a multidisciplinary perspective).

  • Students are able to analyze security networks and the factors that influence their functioning.

  • Students are able to apply theoretical knowledge on ‘real life’ security networks.

  • Students are able to critically discuss the functioning of security networks, based on their own research, and their familiarization with previous studies.


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

Mode of instruction

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

One lecture may be missed.

Course Load

Total study load 140 hours:
21 Contact hours
119 Self-study hours: reading, preparing lectures, assignments, etc.

Assessment method

  1. Group paper: policy report based on serious game (25%)

  2. Portfolio (10%)

  3. Written exam (mid-term) (65%)

Compensation rule: Only assessments with the weight lower than 30% are compensable. This means that one does not have to pass an assessment if it weighs less than 30% in order to pass the course, if the average of all assessments combined is at least a 5.5. In addition, assignments with less than 30% are not re-sitable, meaning that if one failed an assessment of less than 30%, one is not allowed to redo it.

Students will be permitted to resit the written exam (assignment 3) if they have a grade lower than 5,5. Resit 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) and assignment 2 (Portfolio) are not offered a resit. At the same time, it is not required to have a minimum grade of 5.5 for these assignments. In case of a failed sub grade for assignment 1 or assignment 2 it should be compensated by a successful grade for assignment 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 “Security Networks and Technology” 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.


The corresponding Blackboard course will be available one week prior to the first lecture.

Reading list

To be announced on Blackboard.


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-Dincă