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POLS250 International Security in a Globalising World

A conceptual overview of security, the changing global context, traditional and non-traditional security issues, the management of international security issues, and the future of global security.

With the USA-USSR Cold War over, January 1992 heralded a new beginning for world peace . . . or so we thought at the time. Fast forward 27 years to July 2019 and the world is far from that phantasm of One Happy World of Peace, Love & Understanding (apologies to Elvis Costello). A short list of events and trends might include ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh in Syria; the British EU referendum result; the rise of ultranationalism in Poland, Bulgaria, France; the PRC building artificial islands in defense of the Eight Dash Line; cyberattacks on electrical power networks in the United States; even the US presidential election suffered from international cyberattacks. What happened? We will seek answers to that deceptively simple question. Our expedition will cover geographic regions, global problems, and technology. Hopefully, by the end of the semester we will have developed comprehensive solutions to this globalised mess.

Paper title International Security in a Globalising World
Paper code POLS250
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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One 100-level POLS paper or 72 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
Teaching staff

Prof. John Masker, from Temple University in the USA, editor of Introduction to Global Politics (Oxford University Press, New York).

Paper Structure
It encompasses the concept of security, the international security agenda in the era of globalisation, the challenge of managing international security issues, and the question of whether globalisation has enhanced or diminished international security.
Course Reader and highly recommended texts include Roland Dannreuther, International Security: The Contemporary Agenda, and A. Collins (ed) Contemporary Security Studies
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students will gain:
  • The ability to critically assess arguments put forward by international security scholars
  • The capability to relate arguments about international security to a changing international environment
  • The capacity to analytically compare alternative social science theories and develop reasoned, independent perspectives on international security issues
  • A better understanding of specific current and future challenges in international security

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
A2 Thursday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41