• Do we still know what security and war are?
• How convincing are the arguments about the ‘civilizing process’ and changes in war global politics?
• What will war look like in the coming century? How will war be shaped by ‘speed’ and the ‘pace of change’ transforming societies?
• How serious are the new security challenges – issues like cybersecurity, climate change and urban conflict?
Theorizing helps us to pose and answer these questions. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing power, security and war. Since forms of security and war are intimately correlated with forms of cultural political and economic life, theories in this module address: geopolitics, biopolitics, techno-science, digitalization, molecularization, network war, image war and virtual war. The teaching and learning strategy of Theorising Security and War is designed to make students theoretically and philosophically literate in conceptual and analytical schemes that help us understand the geopolitics of security and war. Students should be able to:
• demonstrate a broad theoretical competence in relation to key texts in the study of modernity, security and war
• develop a critical understanding of key areas of contemporary security studies: such as cybersecurity, environmental security, urban geopolitics and drone theory.
• locate a specific theoretical tradition within its wider theoretical and philosophical assumptions and be capable also of critical comparing different traditions in relation both to these assumptions and their different logical and practical entailments
In the process students should be able to demonstrate in written work, group presentation and discussion more refined analytical skills in the interrogation and critical engagement of empirical material and case studies drawn from a wide variety of multi-media sources
Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature (Allen Lane, 2012)
Gregoire Chamayou, Drone Theory (Penguin 2014)
Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust (Polity, 1989)
Paul Virilio, Speed and Politics (Semiotexte, 2008)
Stephen Graham, Cities Under Siege (Verso, 2011)
Thomas Rid, Cyberwar will not take place (Hurst 2014)
Foucault, Michel, Society Must be Defended (Allen Lane, 2003)
Castells, Manuel, The Rise of the Network Society (Blackwell's, 2000)
Creveld, Martin van, The Transformation of War (Free Press, 1991)