Overview and aims
This module investigates different approaches to understanding and explaining contemporary security concerns in Europe, with a specific focus on the threat of terrorism and the problem of radicalisation in European societies. The module encourages you to reflect on the analytical and methodological assumptions that shape the way in which security is thought about and practiced in international politics generally, and in Europe specifically. The module aims to provide you with the necessary skills to think critically about contemporary security issues such as terrorism and radicalisation.
The module explores traditional and critical approaches to the study of security, terrorism and radicalisation. It looks at these concepts from a variety of traditional and critical perspectives (including realism, liberalism, constructivism and postmodern approaches). These insights are then examined in light of the contemporary European security environment. In particular, the module focuses on the way in which European governments and the European Union perceive the threat from terrorism and radicalisation, as well as the governmental counter-response to the threat from terrorism and radicalisation.
Read the video transcript
DR CHRISTOPHER BAKER-BEALL: The concept of security is everywhere in contemporary international politics. It is evoked by politicians and policymakers. Newspapers and radio programs highlight security issues on a regular basis, and images of security and insecurity often flash across our screens. Similarly, world leaders claim issues such as terrorism to be an almost existential threat to our societies and the values that underpin them.
Terrorist attacks in Europe and across the world by a wide range of actors have seemingly confirmed this view of terrorism as the most pressing of security issues. Likewise, when we think about terrorism, we must also think about the concept of radicalisation. As you will learn, the concept of radicalisation-- as it is presently understood in contemporary politics-- is very new and different from how it was understood in the past.
This module explores the relationship between terrorism and radicalisation in the contemporary European security environment.
- Traditional and critical approaches to security
- Terrorism: explaining the threat
- Counter-terrorism: critical thinking
- Radicalisation: explaining the process
- Countering violent extremism
- European security: responding to radicalisation and terrorism
After studying this module you should be able to:
- understand and explain the contemporary phenomena of terrorism and radicalisation
- critically evaluate literature addressing the question of security, terrorism and radicalisation in international relations
- use critical and traditional theoretical approaches and advanced research methods to analyse the threat of terrorism and radicalisation in Europe
- critically reflect upon and understand governmental responses to terrorism and radicalisation in Europe
This module will help you gain the skills and qualities to:
- produce advanced, original research-based work using effective written, audio-visual and electronic communication skills
- critically analyse, evaluate and explain contemporary debates, the production of knowledge on terrorism and radicalisation
- identify, collect, manage, analyse and present complex primary and secondary evidence to produce policy prescriptions