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Unit information: Security Governance in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Security Governance
Unit code POLIM1006
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Peoples
Open unit status Not open
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School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

This unit assesses the nature of contemporary security governance and considers the extent to which it constitutes a shift away from or challenges the ideal of the nation-state as security provider. To do so the unit commences by asking what constitutes security governance, and how we can critically study the subject. It then turns to an analysis of a range of different actors that now claim a security role within global governance. We will discuss how different types of actors conceive of and practice contemporary security governance, and critically assess their status as security providers. Specifically, we will examine the roles, capabilities and strategies of: global organizations (the United Nations) and regimes (the nuclear non-proliferation regime); regional alliances and actors (NATO, the European Union, and the African Union); states as potential providers of global security governance (with a specific focus on the United States); and non-state actors (Non-Governmental Organizations and Private Military Companies) as ‘private’ providers of security.


The aim of this course unit is to help students as citizens and future decision-makers broaden their understanding of the variety of state and non-state actors and institutions available for improving global security, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private military companies, states, international regimes, regional alliances such as NATO and the EU, and international organizations such as the United Nations.

Your learning on this unit

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Assess the fragmentation of security policy making among multiple actors
  • Evaluate the contributions of different actors to global security
  • Analyse the capabilities and strategies of different security actors
  • Apply new theoretical concepts to contemporary security policy making
  • Define the theoretical concepts of ‘security’ and ‘security governance’
  • Describe the decision-making structures of different security actors

How you will learn

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

How you will be assessed

Formative assessment: an oral presentation supported by a handout Summative assessment: a 4,000 word essay

A full statement of the relationship between the programme outcomes and types/methods of assessment is contained in accompanying Programme Specifications and section B7 of the Major Change to Current Programme forms for the programmes of which this unit is a part. The assessment for each unit is designed to fit within and contribute to that approach in terms of intellectual development across each of the two teaching blocks, and in relation to knowledge and understanding, intellectual skills and attributes, and transferable skills.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLIM1006).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.