Skip to Content | Skip to Search | Skip to Navigation


International Security

V482 Topics in Public Affairs (3 cr.)

June 24 - July 12, 2013


This course explores theoretical and historical explanations for a range of security issues in the international system. The concept of security, traditionally, is studied with respect to countries and how countries can protect themselves. However, students of international relations will quickly observe that contemporary security problems often arise from other sources of grievance, and manifest themselves in civil and ethnic conflict, terrorism, and environmental challenges. This class will concentrate on a variety of different approaches to international security, including theoretical debates about security, the causes of international and civil conflict, and how individual and systemic factors influence the abundance or lack of security in the international system. We will further work on broadening the conception of security by considering the non-traditional security threats like insurgencies and terrorism as well as the impact of nuclear proliferation on state security.

The course will meet for a minimum of two hours, two times per Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, for a total of 36 hours of class time.  In addition, there will be informal exercises, discussions, and field trips related to the classes.

Student will have to attend and participate in classes. Students will be evaluated on contributions to class discussions. Students will also be evaluated on their grasp of concepts and theories developed in the course through a Mid-term and a Final.

SPEA in Oxford Flyer


Students will receive room and board at the centrally located Hertford College, which is located in the center of Oxford, opposite the world famous Bodleian library and the Sheldonian concert hall, as well as within easy walking distance of faculty libraries, lecture theatres, bookshops and cafes. They will live in fully-equipped single-occupancy rooms in modern, air-conditioned dormitories and take meals in the main dining hall. Students will be provided with three meals per day, five days per week, and additional meals as appropriate during excursions/field trips. Any remaining meals (over weekends) will be left to the discretion of the students. Hertford College will provide residential advisors who are students at the college and will be available to monitor and organize optional evening activities. The dormitories are secure and patrolled by university security, and the entire campus is a Wi-Fi Internet Zone. In addition, students will have access to a large and modern library in which to study and prepare assignments.


Adam Tilley

SPEA Overseas Education Programs Specialist