Course Syllabus

European Security Dilemmas  DIS Logo

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Semester &  Location 

Spring 2020 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Study Tour


Major Disciplines:

International Relations, Political Science  

Pre-requisite An international relations or political science course at university level
Faculty Members:

Steve Turner

Program Director Neringa Vendelbo
Time & Place:

Monday/Thursday, 8:30-9:50, 1D-410


Description of Course

The field of Security Studies has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. Following the devastation of WWII and the emergence of the Cold War, the concept of security was focused primarily on the prevention of armed conflict - especially nuclear conflict - among rival states. But the world – and the academic discipline of Security Studies – looks very different today. While a concern with security remains near the top of the political agenda, the concept of security itself has become highly contested.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 – and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union – led many observers to believe that the traditional focus on deterrence through “hard” military power was no longer of central importance. In the intervening years, the field has substantially broadened its scope and drawn attention to an expanding range of security challenges that include threats to individual security, societal security, regional and international security, and even planetary security.

The field of Security Studies, in other words, has become both more complex and more powerful in its capacity to illuminate a diverse array of potential security threats. In this course, which is designed as a general introduction to the field, we will attempt to navigate this complexity by adopting a kind of “middle way” between 1) a narrow focus on a single school of thought and 2) a broad survey which provides a simplified introduction to a vast range of alternative schools of thought.  

The course is organized around four major themes:

  1. Theoretical approaches to Security Studies
  2. Military security - The resurgence of Russia and the implications for Europe and NATO
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Societal Security - Immigration, Integration, and Terrorism


Learning Objectives

This course has three major objectives:

  • To help you develop a solid understanding of how different theoretical perspectives define both the security challenge itself and shape the parameters of the appropriate policy response.
  • To encourage you to think very carefully about the growing challenges to an extraordinary – and historically unique - degree of security that has been achieved in Western societies over the past 75 years.
  • To assist you in the development of essential skills – in analytical thinking and in both oral and written presentation - that are vital not only in navigating security studies, but in flourishing in the game of life.


Faculty Member

Steve Turner

DIS Stockholm Faculty

M.A. in Political Sociology, Harvard University. Extensive teaching experience in comparative politics, globalization, the welfare state, and multiculturalism. Works as a Leadership Consultant, bringing the lessons from modern psychology and neuroscience to the world of business. Also an avid squash player and kayaker. With DIS since 2016.



Adamson, Fiona (2006) Crossing Borders: International Migration and National Security- MIT Press. (p.165-199)

Braw, Elisabeth. (2017) Sweden and Finland’s Awkward NATO Tangle. (6 pages) Politico

Dempsey, Judy. (Ed.) Does Europe have a Security Problem? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (p.1-4)

Dore, Giavanna Maria Dora. (2014) A Security Threat at Europe’s Doorstep. The American Interest. (p. 1-5)

Elman, Colin. (2008) Realism in Williams, Paul (ED.) Security Studies: An Introduction. (p.15-27)

Finlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs. (2016) The Effects of Finland’s Possible NATO Membership. (64 pages)

Friedman, George (2011) The Love of One’s Own and the Importance of Place. Stratfor (1-15)

Fukuyama, Francis (1989) The End of History. (p. 1-18) The National Interest

Gotkowska,  Justyna and Szymański, Piotr. (2016) Pro-American Non-Alignment. Sweden and Finland develop closer military cooperation with the United States.

Granholm, Niklas et. Al. (2014) A Rude Awakening: Ramifications of Russian Aggression Towards Ukraine. (Selected chapters) FOI

Green, Emma. (2016) The Meaningless Politics of Liberal Democracies – An Interview with Shadi Hamid (7 pages) The Atlantic

Gressel, Gustav. (2015) Russia’s Quiet Military Revolution, and What It Means for Europe.   (p.1-17) European Council on Foreign Relations

Haidt, Jonathan (2016) When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism. The American Interest (p.1-8)

Hansen, Lene and Nissenbaum, Helen. (2009) Digital Disaster, Cyber Security and the Copenhagen School. International Studies Quarterly.

Hoffman, Stanley. (2002) The Clash of Globalizations. Foreign Affairs. (p. 104-115)

Huntington, Samuel (1993) The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign Affairs (p.22-49)

Kirchick, James. (2017) Who Killed the Liberal World Order? The American Interest (p.1-8)

Kragh, Martin and Åsberg, Sebastian. (2017) Russia’s Strategy for Influence through Public Diplomacy and Active Measures: The Swedish Case. (p.1-37) Journal of Strategic Studies

Leiken, Robert. (2005) Europe’s Angry Muslims. Foreign Affairs (p.121-135)

Limnell, Jarno. (2015) The Reality of Cyberwar – Current Concepts and Future Trends. European Cybersecurity Journal

Lucas, Edward. (2017) Why NATO needs Finland and Sweden. CEPA Center for European Policy Analysis

Lukyanov, Fyador. (2016) Putin’s Foreign Policy. (p.30-37). Foreign Affairs

Malik, Kenan. (2015) The Failure of Multiculturalism. Foreign Affairs. (p.21-32)

McDonald, Matt. (2008) Constructivism in Williams, Paul (ED.) Security Studies: An Introduction. (p.59-72)

Mearsheimer, John J and Walt, Stephen M. (2016) The Case for Offshore Balancing: A Superior US Grand Strategy. (p.70-83) Foreign Affairs

Michta, Andrew. (2017) Unchecked Migration Continues to Splinter Europe. (3 pages) Carnegie Europe

Navari, Cornelia. (2008) Liberalism in Williams, Paul (ED.) Security Studies: An Introduction. (p.29-43)

Nilsson, Sven-Christer and Göran Larsbrink. (2014) Swedish National Security. (1-55) The Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences.

Norell, Magnus. (2016) The Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden. (p.1-9)

Nye, Joseph (2017) Will the Liberal Order Survive? Foreign Affairs (p.10-16)

Nye, Joseph. (2010) Cyber Power (p.1-30)   Harvard Kennedy School

Parker, Emily. (2017) Hack Job: How America Invented Cyberwar. (p.133-138) Foreign Affairs

PEW Research Center. (2005) An Uncertain Road: Muslims and the Future of Europe (16 pages)

 Savage, Timothy (2004) Europe and Islam: Crescent Waxing, Cultures Clashing. (p. 25-49) The Washington Quarterly

Smith, Julianne and Hendrix, Jerry. (2016) Assured Resolve: Testing Possible Challenges to Baltic Security. (p.1-18) Center for a New American Security

Sokolsky, Richard. (2017) THE NEW NATO-RUSSIA MILITARY BALANCE: IMPLICATIONS FOR EUROPEAN SECURITY. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Standish, Reid. (2016) Fearing Russian Bear, Sweden Inches Towards NATO. (2 pages) Foreign Policy

Stratfor Worldview. 2014: NATO (15 pages)

Stratfor. (2009) The Geopolitics of Sweden: A Baltic Power Reborn. (6 pages)

Walt, Stephen (2016) The Collapse of the Liberal World Order Foreign Policy (p.1-10)

Walt, Stephen (2016) What Would a Realist World Have Looked Like? Foreign Policy (p.1-8)

Williams, Paul. (2008) Chapter 1: Introduction in Williams, Paul (ED.) Security Studies: An Introduction. (p. 1-10)


Field studies

  1. Wednesday,  January 15 (13-15)   
  2. Wednesday, March 4  (13-15)   


Approach to Teaching 

My approach to teaching is based on a core assumption: Learning is a collective endeavour in which the contribution of each individual has an impact on how much is learned overall. Lectures can serve a valuable purpose both in providing useful information and in stimulating creative thought. But genuine learning takes place only when the student takes an active role –in reading carefully, thinking critically, in raising questions and objections, and in listening to others. It is only through engaged dialogue that we have the capacity to enrich our understanding of the world. My expectation is that students will actively engage in the learning process, both inside and outside the classroom.   

The course utilizes a variety of pedagogical methods, including lectures, discussions, student presentations, policy simulations, and study visits. There is a strong emphasis on discussion and student participation. Everyone is expected to not only complete the readings for each class, but to come to class well prepared to engage in discussion.

Attendance at all lectures and field studies is mandatory.

Note that it is important to check your e-mail and DIS Canvas regularly since outlines, exam info etc. will be distributed here.





* Attendance/Active Participation 


**Pre-class Prep (Canvas "quizzes")

Take Home Exam 1 


 Final In-class Exam (Short answer essay exam)  


Policy Simulation on Swedish Defence Policy


* Your participation grade reflects the importance of being active in this course, which relies in great part on the reflections, discussions, and exercises in class. Students are expected to come prepared with relevant questions for discussion pertaining to the topic, as well as making contributions with relevant analytical insights and critical evaluations. My objective is to promote an environment in which everyone feels willing to engage in open and respectful dialogue.

Attending class earns a grade of 85; Raising questions and engaging in discussions earns additional points

** Pre-class Prep (30%):

Prior to most class sessions, you will complete a short Canvas quiz based on the readings and concepts addressed in class. 


To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all the assigned work.

More information on the assignments, requirements and deadlines will be available on DIS Canvas.

Class Representatives

Class representatives will be elected at the beginning of the semester. Communicate your feedback on the course to the two representatives. See DIS Canvas if you are unsure who they are. 


Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

 DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due