Security in Europe: Actors, Crises and Threats

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Level: Final Year (LH) Undergraduate
Credits: 20
Semester: 1 and 2
Contact hours: Lectures: 20 hours; Seminars: 20 hours.
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Rita Floyd


The module examines the development of European security in the post-Cold War period. It does so by focusing on the key security institutions in Europe (NATO, the EU and the OSCE); by discussing leading international relations theories which have been used to make sense of European Security in the post-Cold War period (including realism, liberalism and constructivism) and by examining the most prominent security issues of our time, including cyber security, environmental security, energy security, organized crime and economic security.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Have a systematic understanding of key aspects of international relations (IR) approaches and their applicability to European security.
  • Demonstrate in-depth conceptual knowledge of how the issues and organisation of European security has altered from the Cold War to the post-Cold War period.
  • Understand and be able to explain how crisis situations have emerged and have been dealt with in and around Europe in the post-Cold war period.
  • Conceptualise the main institutional actors of European security – NATO, the EU and the OSCE.


  • 2 x 3,000 word assessed work (50% each)

Related courses:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2017. We aim to publish any changes to compulsory modules and programme structure for 2018 entry by 01 September 2017 and recommend you refer back to this page shortly after that date for any changes. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.