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Course 2019-2020 a.y.

30484 - TOPICS IN POLITICS II

BIG
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

BIG (3 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:
ANDREA RUGGERI

Classes: 31 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: ANDREA RUGGERI


Suggested background knowledge

Prior background in politics is not required. However, familiarity with International Relations from an introductory course is useful.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

A major field of international relations is concerned with international security: how it is maintained, how it is threatened, and the dynamics of violent conflict within and between states in world politics. This course provides a systematic introduction to major topics within this field, engages with the conceptual, theoretical and empirical questions involved, and examines the implications these have for security policy by both state and non-state actors. The course engages broadly with classic security concepts, issues and theories; contemporary developments, new threats, and future challenges. The mission of this course is to explore different facets of conflict and security challenges, we start focusing on core concepts such as security, war and terrorism and how we can measure and study them. A central aim is discussing, distinguishing and linking concepts, theories, operationalization and empirical analysis on conflict. We reach these goals analyzing core security challenges and new dimensions of conflict that are emerging in in the contemporary word. The course is based on both academic empirical works and critical discussion of policy reports.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The course focuses on international security and conflict in the contemporary world. The course is structured in 3 macro areas. The first focuses on concepts and different dimensions of conflict. The second on Contemporary Security Challenges and the third one on Conflict and Security Management:

  1. Facets of Conflict:
    • Theories and Concepts of Security.
    • The Causes of Interstate War.
    • Civil Wars.
    • Terrorism.
  2. Contemporary Security Challenges:
    • Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons.
    • Refugees, Displacement and Forced Migration.
    • Organised Crime and Conflict.
  3. Conflict and Security Management:
    • Conflict Prevention and Response.
    • Regional Security.
    • Aid and Conflict.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Distinguish the main dimensions of conflicts and related security issues.

  • Identify the core contemporary security challenges.

  • Find data sources to study patterns of conflict and political instability.

  • Elaborate  differences in management and resolution.

  • Use the theoretical and empirical insights presented during the course to assess the risk of conflict or instability under certain political and economic conditions.

  • Challenge theoretical statements about security using empirical evidence.

  • Critically assesses governmental and NGOs reports on security related issues.

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Express and illustrate an original research idea, related to one of the course topics.
  • Engage with current affairs and evaluate critcally policies.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Individual assignments
DETAILS
  • Guest speaker's talks might include  distance video calls with established experts in international organizations (UN, NATO), ONGs or Think Tanks, involved in policy making and policy evaluations related to the course topics.
  • Individual assignments include an individual class presentation and a term paper.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •     x
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  •     x
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    No difference.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The required readings for this course will be scientific articles, book chapters and policy reports that represent the key and/or state of the art contributions to the different topics analyzed. A complete list of the required and suggested reading is provided at the beginning of the course and is available on Bboard. 

    Last change 01/06/2019 16:47