Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE European Security

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION The 9/11 attacks on the United States changed the concept of security. This attack on the United States brought to the fore the new security challenges which states and international organisations across the globe face in the post-Cold War scenario. In Europe, these contemporary security challenges brought further questions on who was going to lead the war against terror. Until the end of the Cold War, NATO was responsible for Western European security.

The Post Cold War scenario left the European Union with the opportunity to play a larger role in safeguarding European Security. While measures were already being introduced in the fight against organised crime, human trafficking, drugs trade and illegal migration, considered as the traditional security issues, the European Union faced the first test with the Balkan Wars with the EU unable to find a common stance to restore stability in the Balkans, which left the United States, NATO and the UN to play an active role in securing peace in the region.

Still, the European Union faced further security challenges. Apart from the terrorist attacks, Europe is facing more instability brought by the conflicts in Ukraine and Georgia. Security is also being threatened by the growing refugee crisis and the fear that hundreds of terrorists are using this opportunity to reach Europe and target European capitals.

The study-unit will provide a insightful analysis of the concepts of security, the Cold War and Post Cold War scenarios. It will re-asses the NATO-OSCE-EU relations on security in Europe and evaluate the problems which the region faces with organised crime, human trafficking, terrorist attacks, drugs trade, and political instability in Eastern Europe.

Study-unit Aims:

Provide an in depth overview of the security issues being faced by Europe;
Outline the cooperation between NATO and EU over European Security;
Highlight the policies introduced by the European Union to combat terrorism and organised crime and safeguard its borders.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- understand the key theoretical perspectives on European security;
- identify the main security threats faced by contemporary Europe.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- analyse the Geo-political issues which are shaping European Security;
- provide an analytical insight of the security threats faced by European states;
- critically assess the EU policies on security.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts
- Biscop, S., & Whitman, R. (2012). The Routledge handbook of European security: Routledge.
- Chappell, L., Mawdsley, J., & Petrov, P. (2016). The EU, Strategy and Security Policy: Regional and Strategic Challenges: Routledge.
- Kaunert, C., & Léonard, S. (2013). European Security, Terrorism and Intelligence: Tackling New Security Challenges in Europe: Springer.

Other Texts
- Cottey, A. (2012). Security in 21st Century Europe: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Marsh, S., & Rees, W. (2012). The European Union in the security of Europe: from cold war to terror war: Routledge.

- Barnutz, S. (2010). The EU's logic of security: politics through institutionalised discourses. European Security, 19(3), 377-394.
- Michalski, A., & Norman, L. (2016). Conceptualizing European security cooperation: Competing international political orders and domestic factors. European Journal of International Relations, 22(4), 749-772.
- Sànchez-Cuenca, I. (2007). The Dynamics Of Nationalist Terrorism: ETA and the IRA. Terrorism and Political Violence, 19(3), 289-306.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 No 30%
Project SEM2 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Jean Claude Cachia

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.