Security Studies


1. Acquire a profound knowledge about the main schools of thought that have attempted to formulate a general theory of International Security: Liberalism, Realism, Critical Theories and other European Schools, Chinese, etc as well as of its key thinkers.
2. Encourage the ability for critical engagement with the main scholarly problems and debates in international security: Anarchy and International Order; Causes of Conflicts and Cooperation and search for Security; Democratic and Hegemonic Peace; Balance of Power and Collective Security; Deterrence and Coercion; Novelty and specific of not of certain types of conflicts and its resolution (Nuclear, Civil Wars, Insurgencies and Terrorism).
3. Encourage the ability for critical engagement with the main dynamics that led to creation and development of the main institutions of international security and cooperation.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Alexandra Magnólia de Vicente Quirino Alves Dias Saraiva


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


Collins, Allan (ed.), Contemporary Security Studies. (Oxford UP) última ed. (latest edition); 
Hughes, Chris (ed.), Security Studies : a Reader. (Routledge), última ed. (latest edition); 
Mahnken, Thomas and Maiolo, Joseph A. (eds.), Strategic Studies: A Reader (Routledge, 2008);
Nye, Joseph, Compreender os Conflitos Internacionais: Uma Introdução à Teoria e à História. (Gradiva, 2002);
Williams, Paul D. (ed), Security Studies: An Introduction (Routledge) última ed., (latest edition)

Teaching method

The course is taught via seminars by the professor responsible for the course; followed by short guided discussions.

Evaluation method

Active engagement with debates during classes showing good reasoning and ability to debate(25%), the final course mark. The final written exam will be the decisive evaluation of the ability to pertinently apply the knowledge of relevant authors and concepts, of research and critical analysis, in a coherent well-argued and clear text(75%)

Subject matter

Part 1: Main Schools of Theoretical Thought
1. Introduction to Course and the Discipline
2. What is Security (Normative or Pragmatic)? New approaches
3. Realism and its Different Schools
4. Liberalism and Peace Studies
5. Constructivism and Critical Theories
6. and other European Schools: thinkers and key concepts
Part 2: Module: Causes of Conflicts
7. Causes of conventional Conflicts
8. Causes of Non-Conventional Conflicts
Part 3: The Search for Security
9. Empire, Hegemony - Hegemonic Peace and Wars of Hegemonic Transition (Pax Britannica, Pax Americana):
10. Alliances and Security Communities (origins and dynamics): Balance v. Band-wagon and Off-Shore Balancer and the case of NATO
11. Deterrence and surviving nuclear weapons during the Cold War
12. Collective Security
13. Crises (mis)Management and Conflict Resolution
Part 4: New Threats for New Theories?
14. New Wars or Old Asymmetric Approaches?
15. Revising Theories or Revisionist States?


Programs where the course is taught: