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Security in the 21st Century - INT6140 (10 sp)

This course builds on traditional security studies but moves a step beyond to include critical approaches to security studies as well.

Opptakskrav: Generell studiekompetanse
Studiested: Nettstudier og Campus i Oslo
Studiestart: Høst og vår
Lånekassen: Godkjent
Eksamen: Nettbasert
Fysisk oppmøte: Ja for studenter på campus. Nei for nettstudenter.
Samling: Nei


Dette emnet undervises på engelsk og beskrives derfor på engelsk.

About the Course:

The goal is to examine contemporary security threats and topics through a variety of theoretical approaches, going beyond the traditional canon of international relations theory. The class will investigate traditional and new security studies questions through a critical lens, for example by asking how norms, identity, narratives, and ideology can help us understand the definition, construction, and response to ‘security’. Topics include climate change, (dis-)information, technology, gender, and more.

The goal is to provide students with empirical and theoretical tools to analyze both traditional and contemporary issues within security studies, hopefully gaining a deeper understanding of international relations in general

The candidate shall be able to...


  • Understand and analyse core concepts of the course as defined by the syllabus.
  • Understand and explain the history of security studies as an academic field.
  • Understand and explain important concepts in traditional security studies.
  • Understand and explain important concepts in critical security studies.
  • Analyze global trends in security studies and policies.


  • Analyze and discuss material explanations in security studies.
  • Analyze and discuss ideational explanations in security studies.
  • Analyze the dynamic between different levels of analysis (sub-national, state- and international level).
  • Discuss and present key topics.
  • Produce a written assignment by a set deadline.


  • Identify and discuss academic challenges (methodological and theoretical) related to security studies research.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how states define and promote their national security interests.
  • Critically evaluate the use of the term "security" in public discourse.



The requirements must be passed in accordance to given deadline in order to register for the exams. Developing your own research essay in two stages:

  • Written assignment 1: Present the topic of your research essay, your thesis question and the preliminary literature you have consulted (500-750 words) (Pass/fail).
  • Written assignment 2: Present your main argument and an outline of the essay (750-1000 words). (Pass/fail).
  • Compulsory attendance. Students must attend a minimum of 8 lectures with following seminars (pass/fail). Only applicable for campus based students.


This course consists of one final essay that constitutes the final grade:

  • Take home exam (individual essay); 3500 words (+/- 10 % excluding front page and reference list) (100 % of the grade, grading system A – F).