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NSEC504 - International Security

Course Details

Course Code: NSEC504 Course ID: 3476 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

During this course, the student analyzes the domestic and international contexts that shape the behavior of state and non-state actors, and which affect the formulation of national security policies. The course provides an assessment of major social, cultural, political, military, economic, technological, and historical issues that influence the international context; the roles and influence of international organizations and non-state actors; and the key transitional challenges to national security such as weapons proliferation and terrorism. The student will examine the issues and national security interests of the U.S. in regions of the world, how the U.S. has carried out its foreign policy in those regions to protect its national security, and the security interests of the nations in those regions. This course will prepare the student to conduct strategic assessments of selected organizations, regions, states, and other actors on the international stage.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/26/18 - 05/03/19 05/06/19 - 06/30/19 Spring 2019 Session I 8 Week session
01/28/19 - 06/28/19 07/01/19 - 08/25/19 Summer 2019 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/19 - 08/30/19 09/02/19 - 10/27/19 Summer 2019 Session D 8 Week session
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Assess the economic, political, social military, technological and other factors contributing to contemporary threats to international security

CO-2: Appraise international security structures

CO-3: Examine international security community activities in light of contemporary threats and existing security structures

CO-4: Analyze future international security challenges.

CO-5: Develop future scenarios and perspectives reflecting current obstacles and limitations to international security.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 20 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Assignment #1 (Research question or Policy backgrounder) – 15 percent

Option One:

The purpose of this assignment is to make a plan for your research. It will take a few steps for you to get to a complete proposal. It must include: research question/introduction, hypothesis, methodology, literature review, conclusion, and proposed source of data. Your proposal should be about 8-12 pages, double spaced, TNR 12.

Option Two:

The purpose of this assignment is to write a policy brief including an history and a current summary of the important issues needed to make decision on a specific topic of your choosing (using the list in the assignments tab). Your policy backgrounder should be about 8-12 pages, double spaced, TNR 12.

Assignment #2 (Research paper or Policy recommendations) – 35 percent

Option One:

The research paper will build on the proposal assignment from week two (with improvements based on the instructor’s comments) and should be at least 10 additional pages of data/findings/analysis of your topic -- not including the cover page, the reference list, and any appendices – for a total of 18-20 pages. Please use a specific political science research method.

Option Two:

The Policy recommendations will build on the backgrounder from week two (but not recopy or repeat it). Continuing with the same threat area that you chose in Assignment #1, provide a list of policy options (with specific recommendations) to include identification and definition of issues, conceptualization of creative alternative solutions, anticipation of reactions and objections, advantages and disadvantages of each policy option, and an-depth analysis on technical aspects of program policies and implementation processes. This assignment should be about 12-15 pages, double spaced, TNR 12.

Assignment #3 – 30 percent

All Options:

This assignment is a take-home essay assignment of two questions, 4-5 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. Please refer to the required text and readings from this course. You may supplement with other readings, but do not supplant the course readings. You will be required to know the course scholarship and literature.

Required Readings

  • External websites and other assigned readings are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
Book Title:Global Security in the Twenty-First Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace, 3rd ed.
Publication Info:Rowman & Littlefield
Author:Sean Kay
Unit Cost:$55.40
Book Title:Understanding Peacekeeping, 2nd ed
Publication Info:Polity Press
Author:Bellamy, Alex J. / Williams, Paul / Griffin, Stuart
Unit Cost:$25.36

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.