SOC 2101

 

 

Security, Terror and ‘New Wars’

 

 

2016 - 17

 

 

 

 

About the module

This module introduces students to theoretical approaches to understanding (in)security and conflict and explores key contemporary issues related to local, national and global security and the role of the state and other actors in security governance. The module is organised in three sections: 

·        The first section introduces students to theoretical approaches to understanding security, outlining the shift from an emphasis on national security towards more holistic concepts of human and global security.

·        The second section considers contemporary sources of insecurity and responses to them, with a particular focus on issues that challenge a state-centric understanding of global politics due to the role of non-state actors and the global nature of the problems confronted. Issues to be addressed include global terrorism, the contentious concepts of ‘new wars’ and ‘failed states’, and the relationship between security and food availability, health, global information networks, and the environment. 

·        The final section of the course addresses the role of sub- and supra-national actors in the governance of global security. Students will explore the role of commercial and other non-state actors in securing territories and populations, and international attempts to prevent conflict and insecurity through ‘state-building’ and development assistance.

Go to Assessments

Teaching arrangements

The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars (2 hours weekly) over 24 weeks

 

 

Autumn term

 

1

Introduction: theorising security [GD/GMcB] (3rd Oct)

2

National security to global security [DW] (10th Oct)

3

Human security and development [RM] (17th Oct)

4

Approaches to understanding war [GMcB] (24th Oct)

5

New wars? [GMcB] (31st Oct)

6

Securitism? Ideology and discourse analysis [GD]                                 (7th Nov)

7

Review week (14th Nov)

8

Terrorism and political violence: theoretical and historical perspectives [GMcB] (21st Nov)

9

Terrorism in the 21st century [DW] (28th Nov)

10

The global ‘War on Terror’ [DW] (5th Dec)

11

Technologies of counter-terrorism [DW] (12th Dec)

 

 

 

 

Spring term

 

12

Cyber security and cyber-wars 1 [GMcB] (9th Jan)

13

Cyber security and cyber-wars 2 [GMcB] (16th Jan)

14

Time constrained test (23rd Jan)

15

Food security [RM] (30th Jan)

16

Environmental security [RM] (6th Feb)

17

Health & security: the threat of global pandemics [RM] (13th Feb)

18

Review week (20th Feb)

19

Failed states and global security [RM] (27th Feb)

20

International intervention and ‘peace-building’ [RM] (6th March

21

Human rights and security [GD])(13th March)

22

Traditional and ‘non-state’ actors in Security Sector Reform [DW] (20th March)

 

 

 

 

.

 


 

Assessments

 

Assessment item

Deadline

Further information

1. Time-constrained test (20%)

23rd Jan 2017

This short time-constrained test will be completed in class. You will be required to answer two short essay questions related to theoretical approaches to understanding security and conflict. Further information will be provided.

2. Research and report (30%)

7th April 2017

Based on independent research, you will write a report advocating greater attention and funding be devoted by governments/inter-governmental organisations to one of the security challenges discussed in weeks 13 – 17.

3. 2,500 word essay(50%)

21st April 2017

A list of essay questions will be provided.

 

 

 

 

 

Essay questions:

 

1.  How far is 'national security' now a shared responsibility between state-level agencies and regional and global institutions?
 
2.  Does the 'Global War on Terror' represent a new kind of war? What political, legal and ethical considerations are raised by the way in which the USA and its allies have tried to address non-state terrorism since 2001?
 
3.  What does the experience of the United Kingdom's PREVENT strategy tell us about ways in which Western states have conceptualised and attempted to manage the problem of terrorism in the 21st century?

      4.  Demonstrate concretely the inter-connectedness of at least two of the following:  environmental security, food security and health security.

 5.  To what  extent has humanitarian  intervention  become a contested concept in the 21st century?

 6.  What are the characteristics of a ‘fragile’ or ‘weak’ state  and with specific reference to at least one state what efforts have been made to remedy the situation?

7. Give a critical analysis of the conceptualisation and language of 'security' and 'securitism'

8. To what extent can Clausewitz's work 'On war' offer analytical insights for strategists of today's conflicts? (n.b. do NOT simply tell us that his work does not address 'new wars')

9. Are 'new wars' a genuine form of war or just violence without borders?

10. 'For hierarchically-ordered centralised states, cyber-war is a losing battle against loosely structured multiple and variable networks of hackers/attackers.' Discuss.

11. In the age of cyber-wars and the cybernetic/computerised control of systems, is the idea that power comes out of the barrel of a gun increasingly redundant?

12. How far can it be said that, in western states the relation of human rights to security centres on the balancing of privacy, free speech, and surveillance. In many non-western states the relation primarily centres on obedience to and dictatorial government/governing party otherwise torture, imprisonment and disappearance?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details of the University grading system and general marking criteria can be found in Appendix 1 (page 11). The marking criteria for each individual assignment will be posted on NILE.

 

We aim to mark your work and provide grades and feedback within 3 weeks. All written work is moderated internally and a sample is later submitted to an external examiner. The University does not permit you to ask for work to be remarked.

 

If you fail or do not submit any of the assessments, you have one further chance to resubmit. Please see Appendix 2 (page 13) for information regarding referrals, deferrals, extensions, mitigating circumstances and penalties for late submission.

 

Suspected plagiarism will be taken very seriously. Please see Appendix 3 (page 15) for more information on what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and the University’s procedures related to suspected plagiarism.

 

Support with study skills that will be necessary to complete your assignment, such as referencing using the Harvard style and locating resources, is available. Please see Appendix 4 (page 16) for more information and useful links. Additional support is available through the University Support and Resources section of the NILE site for this module.

 

Introductory reading

 

A weekly reading list will be provided. The following list contains useful introductory reading and contains some of the key texts we will be using during the module.  

 

 

Abrahamsen, R. & Williams, M.C. (2010) Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Baker, B. & Scheye, E. (2007) ‘Multi-Layered Justice and Security Delivery in Post-Conflict and Fragile States’, Conflict, Security and Development, 7 (4), 503 – 528.

 

Beswick, D. and Jackson, P. (2011) Conflict, security and development: an introduction. Abingdon: Routledge.

 

Buzan, B. (2007) People, States and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era.2nd ed. Colchester: ECPR.

 

Duffield, M. (2001) Global Governance and the New Wars, London: Zed Books.  

 

Kaldor, M. (1999) New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era, Cambridge: Polity Press.

 

Menkhaus, K. (2007) ‘Governance without Government in Somalia: Spoilers, State Building and the Politics of Coping’, International Security, 31 (3), 74-106.

 

Pratten, D. & Sen, A. (2008) Global Vigilantes, New York: Columbia University Press.

 

Online resources

 

There is a huge amount of potentially useful material available online, including government websites, news media, data archives produced by organisations such as the United Nations, and websites of local and international non-governmental organisations. Please see the electronic reading list for this module, available through the ‘Reading List’ folder on NILE for a selection of links.

 

As always, please be careful about which internet sources you use. Remember that anybody can post material online, so check your sources carefully. Data obtained online must also be referenced. See the university’s Harvard style guide for information about how to do this (link in Appendix 4). If you are unsure about whether a source is appropriate, please consult your tutor.

 

APPENDIX 1: The Common Academic Framework Assessment Grades

 

Assessed work for all modules is graded in accordance with the following criteria.

 

%

Grade

 

Criteria

80 - 100

A+

An exceptional first

Work which fulfils all the criteria of the A grade, but at an exceptional standard for the level concerned.

75 - 79

A

A good first

Work of distinguished quality which is based on extensive research and/or strong technical and creative competence.   An authoritative grasp of concepts, methodology and content appropriate to the subject/discipline and to the assessment task will be demonstrated.  There is clear evidence of originality and insight and an ability to sustain an argument and/or solve discipline-related problems, based on critical analysis and/or evaluation.  The ability to synthesise material effectively and the potential for skilled innovation in thinking and practice will be evident.  Capability in relation to relevant key skills for the assessment task will also be strongly evidenced.

70 - 74

A-

A first

Work of very good quality which displays most, but not all of the A grade characteristics for the level concerned.

67 - 69

B+

A high upper second

Work which clearly fulfils all the criteria of the B grade for the level concerned, but shows greater insight and/or originality.

63 - 66

B

A good upper second

Work of good quality which is based on a wide range of properly referenced sources and/or creative input, demonstrating a sound and above average level of understanding of concepts, methodology and content appropriate to the subject/discipline and to the assessment task.  There is clear evidence of critical judgement in selecting, ordering and analysing content to construct a sound argument based on responses which reveal occasional insight and/or originality.  Ability to solve discipline-related problems will be effectively and consistently demonstrated, with relevant key skills capability well developed and evidenced.

60 - 62

B-

An upper second

Work of good quality which contains most, but not all of the B grade characteristics for the level concerned.

57 - 59

C+

A high lower second

Work which clearly fulfils all the criteria of the C grade for the level concerned, but shows a greater degree of critical analysis and/or insight.

53 -56

C

A good lower second

Work of sound quality which is based on satisfactorily referenced sources and/or creative input and which demonstrates a grasp of relevant material and key concepts, together with ability to structure and organise arguments or materials effectively.  The work may be rather standard, but will be mostly accurate, clearly communicated and provide some evidence of ability to engage in critical analysis and/or evaluation.  There will be no serious omissions or irrelevancies and there will be evidence of generally sound capability in key skills relevant to the task.  In dealing with solutions to technical problems, appropriate methods will be chosen.

50 - 52

C-

A lower second

Work of sound quality which contains most, but not all of the C grade characteristics for the level concerned.

47 - 49

D+

A high third

Work of a satisfactory standard demonstrating a reasonable level of understanding, but lacking sufficient analysis and independence to warrant a C grade at the level concerned.

43 - 46

D

A good third

Work of satisfactory quality which covers the basic subject matter adequately and is appropriately organised and presented, but which is primarily descriptive or derivative rather than analytical or creative.  There may be some misunderstanding of key concepts and limitations in the ability to select relevant material or techniques, and/or in communication or other relevant key skills, so that the work may be flawed by some errors, omissions or irrelevancies.  There will be some evidence of appropriate research and ability to construct an argument, but it may be narrowly focused.  In dealing with solutions to technical problems, established and appropriate methods will generally be chosen, but these may be applied uncritically.

40 - 42

D-

A third

Work of bare pass standard demonstrating some familiarity with relevant subject matter and application of relevant academic capabilities, but only just meeting threshold standards in, e.g., research, analysis, organisation, focus or other key general or subject specific skills essential to the assessment task, and/or with significant errors or omissions.

35 - 39

F+

A marginal fail

Work which indicates some evidence of engagement with the subject material and learning process, but which is, e.g., essentially misinterpreted, misdirected, misunderstood or poorly organised and sketchy or otherwise just failing to meet threshold standards at the level concerned.

20 - 34

F

A fail

Work that falls well short of the threshold standards at the level concerned.  It may address the task to some extent, or include evidence of successful engagement with some of the subject material, but such satisfactory ingredients will be clearly outweighed by major deficiencies across remaining areas.

5 - 19

F-

A comprehensive fail

Work of poor quality which is based on only minimal understanding, application or effort.  It will offer only very limited evidence of familiarity with subject material or skills appropriate to the discipline or task and/or demonstrates inadequate capability in key general skills essential to the assessment task at the level concerned.

0 - 4

G

 

Nothing presented, or work containing nothing of merit.


APPENDIX 2: Assessment regulations and resubmission dates

 

Extensions

 

Extensions of up to two weeks can be granted at the discretion of the module coordinator. Please note that evidence is likely to be required to support your request.  Extensions must be requested at least 2 days prior to the assessment deadline.

 

Mitigating Circumstances Form

 

If you are experiencing medical or other personal problems that may prevent you from submitting an assignment on time, you should request a Mitigating Circumstances Form available online or from the Framework Office. If your application is successful you will be permitted to take the assessment at a later date (see deferrals below) with no restrictions on the grade you can achieve.

 

You cannot apply for recognition of mitigating circumstances retrospectively should you be unhappy with your grade or fail to submit an assessment.

 

Late submission

 

Assessments that are submitted late, without an agreed extension will be graded as follows:

 

-                          Submitted within one week of deadline = maximum grade of D-

-                          Submitted more than one week after deadline = referred (see below)

 

Referral and deferral

 

‘Referred assessment’ refers to when a student is permitted to retake an assessment having failed their first attempt (F+, F, F-, G), or having submitted their assessment over a week late or not at all. The original assessment may be replaced by an alternative assessment, and new deadlines are set (see below). The maximum grade that can be achieved is D-.

 

‘Deferred assessment’ refers to when a student is permitted to take an assessment at a later date following a successful application for recognition of mitigating circumstances. The original assessment may be replaced by an alternative assessment, and new deadlines are set (see below). There is no restriction on the grade that can be achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment deadlines

 

Assessment

Deadline

Referral/deferral deadline

Time constrained test

TBC

TBC

Research and advocacy report (1,200 words)

TBC

TBC

2,500 word essay

TBC

TBC

 

 

Alternative (referral and deferral) assessment

 

1. Time constrained test

 

An alternative assessment will be provided.

 

2. Research and advocacy report

 

Another report to be produced dealing with a different topic to that attempted previously.

 

3. Essay.

 

An essay addressing one of the questions that will be provided in the Assessments folder of the NILE site for this module. For referred assessments, the student must attempt a different question to that addressed in the first attempt.

 

 


APPENDIX 3: Plagiarism

 

Office of the Academic Registrar – Statement on Plagiarism

 

The University unequivocally condemns plagiarism, which it considers to be comparable to falsifying data and cheating in an examination, and warns students that the Senate looks gravely upon incidences of plagiarism and is empowered to recommend severe penalties where students are found guilty of plagiarism.

 

Definition

 

The University considers plagiarism involves an intention to deceive and entails the submission for assessment of work which purports to be that of the student but is in fact wholly or substantially the work of another. Since it is difficult to establish such an intention to deceive except through practice the University defines plagiarism in the following way:

 

The University defines plagiarism as the incorporation by a student in work for assessment of material which is not their own in the sense that all or substantial part of the work has been copied without any attempt at attribution or has been incorporated as if it were the student's own when in fact it is wholly or substantially the work of another person.

 

For further details on the policy and procedures regarding suspected academic misconduct, see the University's Academic Integrity Policy for Taught Programmes, which can be downloaded from here.

 

 

Further guidance

 

Cases of suspected plagiarism will be taken very seriously by the course team and referred to the School Academic Misconduct Office. There are serious consequences for anybody found to have committed plagiarism.

 

If you would like further guidance on plagiarism and how to avoid it, you can take the University of Northampton’s Plagiarism Avoidance Course (UNPAC) online.

 

In order to identify plagiarism, you are required to submit your work through Turnitin.

 

Turnitin can also help you to identify whether you have unintentionally copied material from elsewhere. If this is the case, you can revise and resubmit your work as long as it is before the deadline. Therefore, you are advised to submit your work through Turnitin as early as possible. Instructions on how to use Turnitin are available through NILE. Go to the ‘Help’ tab and then ‘NILE guides’ and then ‘Student Resources’, or click here.


 

APPENDIX 4: Support with study skills and referencing

 

General support

 

If a problem arises which may affect your studies, you are encouraged to discuss this in the first instance with one of the module tutors or, if the problem is likely to affect more than one module, with your personal tutor.

 

Alternatively if you do not wish to discuss the problem with a member of the teaching staff, you could contact the Dean of Students or the Student Support Team.

 

Study skills and referencing

 

For support with study skills, you are strongly encouraged to make use of the services and facilities available in the Centre for Achievement and Performance (CfAP) located in the library.  Appointments may be made at the Library and drop-in slots are also available.

 

Charlotte Heppell, the faculty librarian, is happy to help students to search for material or to advise you on the range of material available in the library. Please email her to make an appointment: charlotte.heppell@northampton.ac.uk

 

Your work should be fully referenced using the Harvard style. For guidance on how to use the Harvard referencing style, please see this guide from the library, which includes information about how to refer to a wide range of sources, such as web pages:

http://skillshub.northampton.ac.uk/2012/11/27/harvard-referencing-guide/

 

 

 


APPENDIX 5: Student Feedback

 

The course team values student feedback as it provides a means of ensuring and improving quality of provision. We invite you to make your views known or raise issues through the following formal channels:

 

Student Representatives: their role is to raise any issues affecting the experience of students on a particular course with the module co-ordinator(s) concerned or, where that seems more appropriate, with the relevant subject course leader. They also represent students at the subject board of study, which meets each term and is the formal forum in which issues relating to the subject are discussed. Elected student representatives are invited to attend training sessions on their role. It is up to the student body to brief their representatives on any issues they ought to raise with tutors or at the Board of Studies.

Feedback Questionnaire: We will ask you to complete a questionnaire at the end of the spring term which will inform how this module is taught in the future.

 

 

 


APPENDIX 6: Module Specification

 

UNIVERSITY MODULAR FRAMEWORK -MODULE SPECIFICATION

 

All items with a star (*) cannot be changed without approval.

 

 

DELIVERY MODE(S)*

Tick applicable:

Blending Learning (standard)

Distance Learning

 

Work Based Learning

 

Trimester module

 

Semester module

 

Evening

 

Stand Alone Module

 

EXPECTED LENGTH OF MODULE (please specify in days, weeks or months)

 

START MONTH/YEAR

 

 

 

END MONTH/YEAR

 

 

 

If more than one session please supply further start and end dates here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any Additional Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


UNIVERSITY MODULAR FRAMEWORK -MODULE SPECIFICATION

 

All items with a star (*) cannot be changed without approval.

 

 

SCHOOL *

Social Sciences

DIVISION *

Sociology

FIELD*

SOCIAL SCIENCES

MODULE TITLE*

Security, Terror and New Wars

 

MODULE CODE *

LEVEL*

CREDIT VALUE*

CO-ORDINATOR

SOC2101

5

20.00

 

 

DELIVERY LOCATION(S)*

Tick applicable:

If off site please specify location

On Site (UoN)

 

Off Site

 

 

Additional Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRE-REQUISITES*:

None

CO-REQUISITES*:

None

RESTRICTIONS*:

None

SUPPLEMENTARY REGULATIONS*:
                              

This module has no supplementary regulations
              

DESCRIPTION*:  

This module introduces students to approaches to understanding (in)security. Students will explore contemporary security issues that challenge state-centric approaches to global politics, such as global terrorism, environmental security and the concept of failed states, and will explore the role of sub- and supra-national actors in the global governance of security.    


OVERALL AIM(S) FOR THE MODULE*  

 

  Introduce students to theoretical perspectives on security at a range of levels of analysis.

 

   Explore contemporary threats to security that problematise state-centric approaches to global politics, and the role of sub- and supra-national actors in security governance.

LEARNING OUTCOMES*:

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

 

a)         Explain contrasting theoretical approaches to understanding (in)security.

 

b)         Appreciate  key contemporary issues affecting national, human and global security.

 

c)         Outline the role of state and non-state  actors in governing global security.

 

Subject - specific Skills

 

d)         Evaluate different theoretical approaches to understanding (in)security.

 

e)         Demonstrate a critical awareness of the range of sources of relevant data available online.

 

f)          Assess the implications of material discussed during the course for understandings of  key concepts in International Relations and Politics, such as sovereignty and the state.

 

Key Skills

 

g)         Convey ideas and arguments clearly and effectively in writing.

 

h)         Select appropriate empirical examples to support theoretically informed arguments.

 

i)          Collect, analyse and synthesise data from a range of sources.

           

INDICATIVE CONTENT:   This module has three sections:

1.           The first section introduces students to theoretical approaches to understanding security, outlining the shift from an emphasis on national security towards more holistic concepts of human and global security.

2.           The second section considers contemporary sources of insecurity and responses to them, with a particular focus on issues that challenge a state-centric understanding of global politics due to the role of non-state actors and the global nature of the problems confronted. Issues to be addressed include global terrorism, intra-state conflict and ‘new wars’, the concept of the ‘failed state’ and the threats posed to security by climate change and pandemics.

3.           The final section of the course addresses the roles of different actors in the governance of global security, including international, state  and  non-state  actors.  Students will explore the role of the different actors  in securing territories and populations, and international attempts to prevent conflict and insecurity through ‘state-building’ and development assistance

CONTEXT*

Tick the way the form in which the module is delivered

This module is delivered in a face to face form

This module is delivered in a guided tutor form

 

This module is delivered in a guided learning materials form

 

This module is delivered in a guided peers form

 

This module is delivered in a self-directed/independent form

 

Tick who the module is delivered to

This module is delivered to a lone student

 

This module is delivered to students with mentor(s)

 

This module is delivered to student cohort(s) taught by UN staff

This module is delivered to student cohort(s) taught by non-UN staff

 

JUSTIFICATION OF TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT STRATEGY*:

Lectures introduce students to key concepts and ideas, which are then discussed further in seminars and explored through relevant seminar activities. The assessments are designed to provide a balance between demonstrating understanding of theory and in-depth empirical knowledge, and require students to demonstrate both ability in academic writing and analysis, and the applied use of data simulating ‘real world’ practices.

Teaching, learning + assessment activities

Study hours

All contact hours

48

24 x 1 hour lecture

24

24 x 1 hour seminar

24

Independent study hours

102

24 x 3 seminar preparation and reading

72

Tutorials and skills development

30

Assessment hours

50

Timed Constrained Test in the Autumn Term

10

Research task and 1200 word advocacy report

15

2,500 word essay assignment

25

Total

200

 

ASSESSMENT STRUCTURE*

 

Assessment Items                                                         Units   Weighting    Learning Outcomes

 

AS1 – Timed Constrained Text                                             1               20%       a, b, c, d, f, g

AS2 – Research and report (1,200 words)                            1.5            30%       b, c, e, g, h, i

AS3 – Essay (2,500 words)                                                  2.5            50%       a, b, c, d, f, g, h

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA


AS1   
A time constrained test will require students to answer two short essay questions about the theoretical perspectives on security covered in the early part of the course. This is designed to enable assessment of students’ understanding of the core theoretical frameworks that should underpin their work throughout the course. This will be assessed in terms of:

1. Demonstration of understanding of theory.

2. Ability to articulate ideas concisely and clearly.

3. Ability to critically analyse and evaluate theoretical perspectives. 

AS2 requires students to write a short briefing paper designed to persuade a head of state/other influential actor of the importance of taking action, or refraining from taking action, in response a particular security threat. Students will be provided with examples they may use, but may also select their own issue. The report will be based on research using secondary literature and available online data sources. This will be assessed in terms of:

1. Ability to analyse a range of data.

2. Scope of content and relevance of data collected.

3. Ability to construct a robust and persuasive argument. 

AS3 is a 2,500 word essay that will be assessed on the basis of:

1. Scope of material covered.

2. Level of critical and theoretically informed analysis.

3. Clarity and coherence of written expression. 

 

APPROVAL/ REVIEW DATES:

Version: 1

Date of approval: