Graduate Global Security Studies Course Descriptions
6191, 6291, 6391 Research. Individual research problems for superior students in security studies. May be repeated for a total of six semester hours credit.
Prerequisite: Approval from the Chair of the Department is required prior to enrollment.
6302 Introduction to Security Studies (3-0). This is a basic introduction to the field of security studies. This course will help the student examine the recent history of security studies. The student will learn about many of the theoretical approaches and debates relating to world politics. The studies will include the origination and causes of conflict, deterrence and coercion (in both theory and practice), diplomacy and international dynamics, and an examination of the growing list of transnational issues. The course deals with many of the theoretical works in the field as well as numerous case studies that deal with the national security issues impacting current world politics and international security.
6305 Research Methods and Statistics in Security Studies (3-0). Research methods with application to intelligence, homeland security, criminal justice, and other security-related interests. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis 6305, Border Security 6334, or Criminal Justice 6334.)
6309 Grand Strategy and National Security (3-0). This course gives students key insights into the basic elements of grand strategy and how these tie into Security Studies. The course gives students a unique baseline of knowledge that will be important as students move into the other aspects of the Security Studies program. Key issues addressed in detail include: 1) The national security decision making process, particularly as it relates to issues of international and homeland security; 2) Civil-military relations as applicable in the development of strategy and statecraft; 3) An analysis of how nation-states develop military operational capabilities and readiness; and 4) The differing strategies for international conflict, including both conventional and unconventional warfare.
6310 Civil-Military Relations (3-0). The study of civil-military relations is a crucial aspect of security studies. The topic examines the proper balance between national security and civilian direction within American democracy. This course will examine civil-military relations in its broader context to include such issues as civilian control of the military, changing perceptions of military service, and the complex relationship among policy, politics, and society.
6312 Globalization and International Security (3-0). This course examines how globalization affects the policies, economics, societies, and militaries of both state and non-state actors on the regional and world stage. While globalization has had many benefits since the end of World War II, it has also created “haves and have nots,” radical religious and political ideologies, and ethnic conflict in regions affecting the national security of the developed world. This course will conduct studies examining how the interconnected world creates differing realities for different nation-states and regions and what the potential is for the future.
6313 Intelligence and National Security (3-0). The intelligence reform mandated following the attacks on 9/11 created the most fundamental structural change in the National Intelligence Community in its history. The National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), as updated, will provide the framework of analysis for this course. The integration of the National Intelligence Community, and the complexities this integration brings, will be analyzed. This course covers the intelligence cycle (planning and direction, collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination). It also covers key aspects of intelligence such as warning and surprise; denial and deception; covert action; oversight and civil liberties; role of policymakers; and intelligence reform. Students will evaluate how changes in the national intelligence community are meeting the objectives of the war on terrorism and contributing to more effective intelligence. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis 6300.)
6314 Terrorism and National Security (3-0). This course examines the impact of terrorism on national security policy. The course profiles terrorists and terrorist groups, and also analyzes potential future forms of violent action that could be taken by non-state actors. The course also examines and outlines the past practices of counterterrorism in other countries. Finally, students focus on United States policies and the roles and missions of both military and interagency commanders who are currently dealing with or have in the past dealt with terrorism as part of their assigned tasks.
6315 Rogue Nations and National Security (3-0). The end of the Cold War brought in a new era of world politics and security issues for the United States. But with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union also came a new phenomenon—Rogue States. Countries such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and others have refused to change their governments in modern times and continue to conduct policies that are hostile to the United States and its allies. This course examines exactly what it is that makes up a rogue state, why the politics of rogue states are dangerous to the United States and its allies, and how these hostile policies can be countered. The course also examines several important recent case studies.
6316 Peacekeeping and Stability Operations (3-0). Stability and peace operations have become an integral part of United States foreign and military policy. This course analyzes several concepts, including nation building, stabilization, and reconstruction. The course also examines the roles of various groups that have become important to these types of operations in the 21st century, including nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and governmental organizations. The course examines the roles and missions of the many new players who have become integral to stability and peacekeeping operations.
6317 Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Proliferation, and National Security (3-0). As the United States looks to an uncertain future in the 21st century, control of weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation have become two of our most important national security issues. Because many nations are not transparent about either their capabilities or intentions, this is also a very difficult issue to analyze for American policy makers and their staffs. This class examines important case studies such as the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the role of the IAEA and other elements of the UN in countering WMD and proliferation, and key state actors that pose the greatest threat to American security because of their pursuit of WMD capabilities and/or proliferation.
6318 Weak and Failing States and National Security (3-0). For many years following the end of the Cold War, weak states, failing states, and failed states, received little or no attention from the United States. With the exception of the Somalia case study (a failed state), the United States tended to ignore states that were either weak or on the brink of being failed states. The events of 9/11 ended this for the most part. Because Afghanistan was essentially a failing state and supported terrorism, this issue has now become one that is ripe for examination. What constitutes a weak state? A failing state? A failed state? Are failed states a threat to U.S. security? If so, why is this the case? Which states are these, and what can be done to remedy the ominous (and often unique) threats they pose? All these issues are examined in this course, which will provide current and recent case studies as a method for conducting analysis of an issue that has only recently come to the forefront of Washington’s foreign policy.
6320 Human Rights and National Security (3-0). This course gives students a clear understanding of what constitutes human rights. The course also explores why human rights and human security have become such major players in policy, as well as important aspects of the work that NGO’s and other non-state actors conduct. Of particular importance to this course is conducting an analysis of the role of civil society (human rights NGO’s, church groups, and grassroots groups). The course features important writings by practitioners and experts in the field.
6321 Energy Security Studies (3-0). This course examines the relatively new concept of the importance of the relationship between energy and security in the 21st century. Students conduct analyses of important policy challenges including, but not limited to, economic, geopolitical, and environmental issues. The United States and its key allies (not to mention its competitors—such as China) have huge concerns about vulnerability to disruptions in supply, price volatility, and environmental degradation. U.S. national security interests also can potentially be in peril if such issues as unequal access to energy sources and instability in key energy-producing regions arise.
6322 Transnational Issues and National Security (3-0). With the advent of more societies around the world and more open trade, a variety of transnational issues have become important for American national security. The role of NGO’s in dealing with a variety of issues, the role of the many powerful transnational corporations, and the interesting aspect of transnational crime have changed the role of nation-states (somewhat) in how they deal with both state and non-state actors. This course examines the key transnational issues that are important for U.S. policy and also analyzes a series of case studies dealing with important issues such as transnational crime, transnational corporations, and other issues that cross borders between states and regions.
6323 Security Issues in Europe I (3-0). This course examines the historic, cultural, economic, social and geographic traits that distinguish this region and shape its domestic political processes and interstate relations. Students will engage in critical comparisons of the politics, governments, and orientations of European states and important regional powers. The course also covers contemporary regional issues such as democratization, arms control and regional integration, with a particular emphasis on security concerns. This class also examines the development of the Atlantic Alliance of 1949—known as NATO—into a military organization under United States leadership, and how that organization has affected security on both the regional and world stages. The course concludes with an evaluation of NATO’s status in contemporary times and the role that it may play in the future.
6324 Cold War Studies (3-0). Cold War Studies begins with the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Stalin and continues to the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1991 and through the legacies of the Cold War. This course will examine the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and its allies, with particular focus on how U.S. relations with the Soviet Union (and the Peoples’ Republic of China) alternated between cooperation and conflict.
6325 Security Issues in Europe II (3-0). This course focuses on current, major issues within the European region. While engaging in critical analysis of current issues, the course examines the broader European cultural context as an analytic framework explaining interaction within the region and the international arena. While the first European course focuses on many of the issues that led to the formulation and continued existence of NATO, this course discusses the formulation and issues related to the European Union (EU). Because the EU is such an economic powerhouse, students will explore the theory and practice of how economic motives affect political decisions and how most political decisions have economic repercussions, both domestically and in Europe. This course reviews and explores the key themes of Europe’s contemporary political economy.
6327 Security Issues in Asia I (3-0). This course covers contemporary regional issues such as the influence of Japan, India, Korea, and China on regional and global affairs, with a particular focus on regional security concerns. The focus of this course is on the changing dynamics of contemporary international security in Asia. This course includes several important case studies that are central to understanding regional security in Asia. These include, but are not be limited to, the ongoing and hotly debated military rise of China and the implications for the region and the world; the nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula; contemporary security issues in Southeast Asia; the India-Pakistan conflict; and transnational security issues in Asia.
6328 Security Issues in North Korea (3-0). This course analyzes several aspects of the challenges North Korea presents to the free world, to include the founding of the “Kim Family Regime” and the regime succession process, North Korea’s military capabilities, military proliferation, the unusual and often unpredictable behavior (according to some analysts) in North Korea, how North Korea uses violent provocations as a tool of policy and human rights.
6329 Security Issues in Asia II (3-0). While Security Issues in Asia I focuses on issues of conflict and tension, this course is an introduction to the political economy of Asia. Students will explore the theory and practice of how economic motives affect political decisions and how most political decisions have economic repercussions, both domestically and in Asia. This course reviews and explores the key themes of Asia’s contemporary political economy. In doing so, it concentrates on Asia’s relationship with the global political economy and raises questions about the nature of state action in Asian countries.
6331 Security Issues in Latin America I (3-0). This course examines the dynamics of international security in Latin America. Key security issues to be examined include, but will not be limited to, conflict between states, insurgency and counterinsurgency, transnational crime, and terrorism. Students will also examine how the security environment in Latin America is seen in Washington and what influences that perspective. The course also examines closely the use of international organizations in addressing key security issues within the region.
6333 Security Issues in Latin America II (3-0). While Security Issues in Latin America I focuses on issues of conflict and tension, this course is an introduction to the region’s political economy. Students will explore the theory and practice of how economic motives affect political decisions and how most political decisions have economic repercussions, both domestically and in Latin America. This course reviews and explores the key themes of Latin America’s contemporary political economy. In doing so, the course concentrates on Latin America’s relationship with the global political economy and raises questions about the nature of state action in Latin American countries. While engaging in critical analysis of current issues, the course examines the broader Latin American economic context as an analytic framework for explaining interaction within the region and the international arena.
6335 Security Issues in the Middle East I (3-0). This course examines the implications of key security issues affecting U.S. national interests in the Middle East. The course gives insights into the history, cultures, religions, geography, and demographics of the region. The course also examines the dynamics of interaction between the Middle East and the West. Key security issues for discussion include, but are not limited to, the Middle East peace process, Persian Gulf security, access to Middle East petroleum reserves, and the promotion of democracy. The course also explores the nature of jihad in the Middle East, the relationship between religion and state governments, and human rights issues.
6337 Security Issues in the Middle East II (3-0). While Security Issues in the Middle East I focuses on issues of conflict and tension, this course is an introduction to the political economy of Middle East. Students will explore the theory and practice of how economic motives affect political decisions and how most political decisions have economic repercussions, both domestically and in the Middle East. This course reviews and explores the key themes of the Middle East’s contemporary political economy. In doing so, the course concentrates on the Middle East’s relationship with the global political economy and raises questions about the nature of state action in Middle Eastern countries.
6341 Security Issues in Africa I (3-0). This course examines political, military, and social issues of the states of Sub-Saharan Africa. The focus of the course is on the impact these issues have on world politics and particularly United States national security interests in that region. The course addresses issues of the colonial legacy, the rise of African nationalism, and the emergence of independent Africa. It also addresses many of the difficulties of the post-colonial legacy. Finally, the course turns to the place of Sub-Saharan Africa in Washington’s national security policy, and potential outcomes for the future.
6343 Security Issues in Africa II (3-0). While Security Issues in Africa I focuses on issues of conflict and tension, this course is an introduction to the political economy of Sub-Saharan Africa. Students will explore the theory and practice of how economic motives affect political decisions and how most political decisions have economic repercussions, both domestically and in Africa. This course reviews and explores the key themes of Africa’s contemporary political economy and its deep historical bases. In doing so, the course concentrates on Africa’s relationship with the global political economy and raises questions about the nature of state action in African countries.
6344 Security Issues in the Southern Post-USSR (3-0). This course focuses on political, security, cultural, social, and economic aspects defining the countries of post-Soviet space: Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasus, and the Central Asian states. It examines the historical and geographic traits that distinguish the region as a shared geopolitical environment between the two seas. During this course, we will analyze the variables that shape domestic political developments and interstate relations. The course is designed to foster an engaged understanding within the groups of students of the processes currently underway in the region and their influence beyond its immediate borders. The course aims to delineate the main forces behind the present state of affairs in the area and contrast them with manifestations of country-specific features. Special attention will be given to the debates about Russia’s revisionist wars against Georgia and Ukraine, the war in Nagorno Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020, and civil disturbances in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, as well as the efforts of Turkey to build a regional Pan-Turkic Empire. Lastly, we will explore how these developments relate to the US’s vital national interests in Europe and Central Asia.
6345 National Security Space Policy (3-0). Space, simply put, is a contested, competitive, congested, costly, and complex domain. As such, many in the US defense establishment consider space as rapidly becoming a warfighting domain, much as land, sea, and air have been regions of conflict in humanity’s past. How did we get to this point? Where do we go from here? What are the threats the nation faces from potential adversaries in this new warfighting domain? What key decisions need to be made, what policies need to be implemented to support these decisions, and then what budgetary considerations are required that will ensure the US and its allies will have free and unfettered access to space? National security space policy is a topic that needed to be studied, debated, and acted upon for, as the saying goes, “the future is now.” In this course we hope to introduce the student to these important questions, and as a result for the student to be able to think about the US’s proper national security-related role in what President John F. Kennedy once called “This new ocean of Space.” This course is not a complete introduction to US space affairs, rather it is meant to give the student a broad overview of national security space topics. With this introduction, the student should have the firm foundation to build upon for future studies and endeavors in the US national security space enterprise.
6371 Internship. This course is designed to familiarize students with the application of knowledge gained in course work and with operations and problems in the field of security studies. Students must be pursuing a Master’s degree in Security Studies. Approval of instructor is required. Grading will be either pass or fail.
6381 Special Topics. A seminar in selected security studies topics. May be repeated once for credit when topic varies.
6399 Thesis. A total of six semester hours are required for thesis credit. Students have the option of enrolling in either SEC 6399 (twice) or SEC 6699 once to fulfill the six semester hour thesis requirement. (This course may be repeated once for credit.)
6699 Thesis. A total of six semester hours are required for thesis credit. Students have the option of enrolling in either SEC 6399 (twice) or SEC 6699 once to fulfill the six semester hour thesis requirement.