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Credits: 4 ECTS

Second semester

Elective Courses




The course will be introduced by a discussion on the two sides of the coin of war and politics: the civil-military ‘problematique’ and the use of force and the evolution and definition of strategy over history. The first section will be concerned with civil-military relations and the debate on the control of the armed forces, starting with the work of Samuel P. Huntington and Morris Janowitz, after the World War II. Next, it will discuss the evolution of the military profession and its missions. Also it will deal with the democratic transition and the necessary reform of the military institutions. From lecture 5 of the course will focus on the evolution of strategy and defence planning in order to better understand the linkage between civil-military relations and strategy. The course will analyse the field of security studies as it was defined before the enlargement proposed by the Copenhagen School: “the study of the threat, use and control of military force” (Stephen Walt, 1991).


The final grade will be determined by five factors: class participation (10%), participation in a seminar session (15%), presentations in class (15%), a mid-term essay (30%) and a final take-home exam (30%).

  • Class participation (10%): Regular attendance is mandatory and it is expected students will actively participate in class discussion.
  • Seminar Session (15%): Students will be asked to take part in a seminar session where two or three groups of students will present a case study on the evolution of civil-military relations in some Latin American countries.
  • Presentations in class (15%): Depending on the number of students, some group presentations will be organized in order to discuss different hot topics of the second half of the course.
  • A mid-term essay (30%): Students will be asked to write an essay (2.000 words) on one or two readings which will be selected from the second part of the syllabus related to Strategy.
  • Take-home exam (30%): During the exams week, the students will have to answer in an analytical way two questions out of five on the main issues of the programme (1.500 words per question).

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)


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