International Security: A Brief Introduction

International Security, as a core sub-discipline of International Relations, has traditionally been concerned with issues such as the prevention of war, the promotion of peace, and the strengthening of international order. Since 1994, however, a new focus has developed on the concept of ‘human security’, after the release of a UN Human Development Report which identified seven additional areas of security concern: economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and political security. In this course, we will examine the ways in which a focus on traditional and modern security concerns can help us to understand the complexities of contemporary international politics.



  • Introduction to the discipline of International Security (IS): history and purpose.
  • ‘Traditional’ International Security: key thinkers and their ideas.
  • ‘Modern’ Human Security: key thinkers and their ideas.

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

  1. Understand the origins and aims of International Security (IS) as an academic discipline.
  2. Comprehend the basic structures of the traditional and modern IS approaches.
  3. Appreciate the role of IS in understanding contemporary international politics.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.