Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session

Course Summary

This course is in three parts with each part consisting of seminar sessions focusing on specific topics. Together they cover aspects of theory, methods, and empirical analysis within security and substainability of states in international relations.

Part I: Framework and Approach

Focuses on comparative approaches to security and sustainability in national and international contexts, with special emphasis on constraints and options, as well as strategies and policy choice. Theoretical foundations include: definitions of core concepts; implications of underlying assumptions and causal logic. Alternative frameworks for theory, research and policy are examined. The focus is on explanatory and predictive potentials.

Part II: Cases and Comparisons

Comparisons are undertaken in terms of levels and locations (countries, regions, localities); systems (social, environmental, economic, political technological); methods and models (analytical, empirical and historical); time frame (past, present and future). Coverage includes developing and industrial contexts encompassed in a global perspective. The emphasis on specific countries reflects distinctive patterns of dilemmas and decision.

Part III: Implications and Inferences

Many of the issues examined involve trade-offs, inter-temporal effects, and the creation of new problems as well as possibilities. The challenge is to anticipate the possibilities of creating security as well as sustainability.

Course Requirements

Course requirements include

  • The written requirement
  • A mid-term exam
  • Regular reading of the assigned materials
  • Active class participation and discussion

Details about the written requirement can be found in the assignments section.

Mid-term Exam

Everyone is expected to take the mid-term exam. It is intended to allow the instructor to give you feedback. The mid-term is take home, open book, and questions with choice. If you do well, it will be counted for you. If you do not do well, it will not be counted against you.

Grading Criteria

The grading scheme follows the course requirement format and will be weighted as follows:

Written Requirement 50%
Mid-term Exam 10%
Regular Reading of the Assigned Materials 20%
Active Class Participation and Discussion 20%


Course Materials

All reading assignments are listed in the readings section. Other readings may be assigned from other books during the term. Copies of the books are on reserve at Dewey library.


Part I: Framework and Approach
1 Introduction
2 Concepts and Theories
3 Modes of (In)security and (Un)sustainability
4 Local Conditions and Global Dilemmas
Part II: Cases and Comparisons
5 When People Move or Boundaries Shift
6 When Resources are "Scarce"
7 When Environments "Strain"
8 When Regimes Fail or States Collapse
9 When Wars Happen
Part III: Implications and Inferences
10 Technology Imperatives
11 Managing Security and Sustainability
12 Design Systems for Security and Sustainability