The course is designed to introduce students to the concepts of security, violence and demilitarisation.The course introduces students to key theories of security and explores wide-ranging approaches to the analysis of security. It invites students to reflect on the analytical and normative implications of different theories and approaches, and to engage different approaches through relevant case studies. The course contrasts traditional to critical approaches to security, and encourages reflection on the political and ethical implications of the traditional assumption that security means the preservation of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. In introducing students to a range of different ways of conceptualising security in the international sphere, it points to the importance of recognising that security is highly contested and contestable, and emphasises the Euro- or western-centric tendencies of security studies. The first part begins by outlining some of the key debates about security in international relations, such as the traditional/critical and the broadening/deepening debate. We examine various critical theoretical approaches and conceptual frameworks to security, such as post structuralism, feminism and critical theory. Finally, the course invites students to reflect on the analytical and normative significance of several core 'images' of security in International Relations.
The course has been designed to enable students to develop a critical appreciation of different conceptual and methodological approaches to the analysis of international security. It fosters skills in applying such approaches with reference to case studies across a range of global contexts and political sites, and encourages reflection on the analytical and normative implications of contemporary practices of enacting security. Specifically, the course enables students to critically reflect upon the different assumptions that frame security theory and practice. It also enables students to critically reflect on the relationship between practices of security and the production of academic knowledge about security.
- Teacher: Jefferson Ndimande