INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: THE RETURN OF GREAT POWER POLITICS - 2020/1
Module code: POL2036
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
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This module develops students' understanding of international security through a focus on the ways in which international relations is shaped by great powers. By studying how the United States, Russia, and China, define their interests and approach to international order, the module places its emphasis on the practice of international security in a series of flashpoints and crises in which great powers' security relations interact. The module includes a crisis management exercise in which students are tasked with managing an evolving security crisis in real time.
KITCHEN Nicholas (Politics)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 5
JACs code: L435
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
This module builds on knowledge acquired in modules such as POL1013 Introduction to International Relations and prepares students for more narrowly-focussed modules at Level 3 such as POL3060 American Foreign Policy and POL3066 Critical Terrorism Studies.
The module begins by introducing international security and developing a theoretical approach to studying great powers and their security interaction. It then focuses in turn on three great powers - the United States, China and Russia - in order to understand their individual approaches to security and international order. The module then considers a series of flashpoints and crises leading up to a practical crisis management exercise, before concluding with a consideration of the future of great power politics.
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||Crisis Management Briefing Paper (1000 words)||30|
|Coursework||Policy Brief on a Contemporary Security Issue (2500 words)||70|
The module assessments aim to develop and test a student’s ability to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts and issue in international security.
- Critically engage with the subject matter.
- Present and develop a clear argument, within a limited word count.
- Analyse the issue (rather than merely describe it).
- Critically evaluate an approach or competing approaches.
Thus, the assessment for this module consists of:
1. National Security Council Crisis Response Briefing Paper to UK Prime Minister (1000 words), following the group crisis management exercise in week 7. The brief should include:
- An assessment of the crisis and the implications for the national interest
- (approx. 300 words)
- Options for responding and what actions the government should take, if any, and details of any contingency planning that should be set in hand
- (approx. 500 words)
- What the government’s public line should be, in the form of a draft official statement (approx. 200 words)
2. Policy Brief on a Contemporary Security Issue (2500 words) to a specified political, institutional, or non-governmental actor on a relevant security-related issue.
Example actors might include:
- the Head of State
- a humanitarian NGO chief-executive
- a military leader
- the head of an international organisation
- the chief executive of a private company
- a civil society leader
- the leader of a political opposition party
The Policy Brief must comprise of three sections, in the following order:
- An Executive Summary that sets out the problem and makes a policy recommendation
(no more than 500 words)
- An assessment of three Policy Options(one of which should be the recommended option)
(approx. 1200-1500 words)
- A Background section, setting out the dynamics of the security issue being addressed, and providing an assessment of the actor’s relevant security interests
(approx. 500-800 words)
- Build on the more general knowledge acquired on POL1013 Introduction to International Relations, through a deeper exploration of contemporary issues in international security
- Prepare students for more narrowly defined examinations of security in modules such as POL3065 American Foreign Policy and POL3066 Critical Terrorism Studies
- Provide students with an overview of the role of great powers in international security
- Enable students to understand contemporary security 'flashpoint' and crises
- Enable students to gain an appreciation of the practice of international security crisis management
|001||Demonstrate familiarity with major debates in international security||K|
|002||Demonstrate understanding of contemporary great powers' differing approaches to international security||K|
|003||Understand the dynamics of contemporary security flashpoints and crises||K|
|004||Apply theory to empirical analysis.||KCT|
|005||Develop analytical, political and strategic policy advice skills.||PT|
|006||Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management.||PT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 127
Lecture Hours: 10
Seminar Hours: 10
Practical/Performance Hours: 3
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Introduce students to new topics, and develop student ability for student-led discussion of the topic, with a focus on analytical and critical skills.
The learning and teaching methods include:
A mixture of lectures and seminars, with significant student-led learning. Students will be expected to contribute actively during seminars, having prepared to contribute to debates based on extensive reading.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL2036
Programmes this module appears in
|International Relations BSc (Hons)||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics BSc (Hons)||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Public Affairs MPA||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons)||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|English Literature with Politics BA (Hons)||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Law with International Relations LLB (Hons)||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.