Studies & Degrees in International Security
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International security is all about the measures taken by nations and international organizations (i.e. the United Nations) to ensure mutual survival and safety. Such measures incorporate military action and diplomatic agreements like treaties and conventions. The study of international security emerged together with World War II, but was afterwards integrated into the field of international relations. Since its formation in the 1950s, the study of international security has been a major part of international relations studies. It covers labels like “security studies”, “strategic studies”, “peace studies”, and others. Specialists in international security deal with issues that range from homeland security to counter terrorism, war crimes, non proliferation, and energy security. Furthermore, they explore and examine the use of non-military tools to combat terrorism and the infringement of civil liberties and problems of social cohesion in national security planning. With the recently emerged challenges of international terrorism and organized crime, there has been an increasing need for specialists, who understand what the new security trends are and how the lines between international and national security are often interchangeable.
If you wish to get into the field of international security, you should most definitely be interested in international relations, politics, and similar disciplines. Here are some personal qualities to consider:
- Good analytical and research skills
- Aptitude for humanities like history
- Excellent problem-solving skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Diplomatic and tactful nature
International Security is mostly offered as an MA degree, and a small number of qualified students are admitted into such programs. Preliminary requirements are most often a bachelor degree in International Relations, Political Science, or similar. The master degree programs in International Security are mainly designed for individuals considering a high level career in government, private industry or non-government organizations, or those wishing to undertake research activities in related academic areas. These programs comprise of subjects like Ethics in International Relations, Histories of Conflict, Decision-making in the European Union, Theories of Conflict and Violence, etc. A well-structured course in the field would examines the main theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of international security, while also exploring a range of contemporary security issues including: the emergence of a zone of stable peace in Europe; the break-up of Yugoslavia; 'New Wars' in the South; terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the Iraq War and the future of the Middle East; and the prospects for peace and security in the Twenty-First Century. It would also give students the opportunity to attend host lectures, dinner debates, conferences, colloquia, and discussion groups.
International Security specialists can seek employment in the private sector such as corporate security, international organizations; government; the diplomatic service; think tanks; political consultancy; non-governmental organizations; the media; industry and commerce.