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2012/2013  BA-POL_PTBG  The Business of Global Security: Commercial Actors in International Politics

English Title
The Business of Global Security: Commercial Actors in International Politics

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter
Changes may occur.
Tuesday 11:40 to 14.15, week 36-41, 43-46.
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Anna Leander - Department for Business and Politics
Main Category of the Course
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • International Political Economy
  • International Politics
  • Political leadership, public management and international politics
Last updated on 03-05-2012
Learning objectives
At the end of the course participants will be able to:
- Draw on an empirical understanding of the role of companies in global security.
- Identify and critically assess academic positions on the role of companies in global security.
- Formulate and carry out practically oriented and theoretically anchored research questions about the role of companies in global security
(1)Oral exam based on synopsis and (2) participation and presentation
(1) Oral exam based on synopsis:
Type of test Oral with Written Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner External examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration 72 Hours

(2) Participation and presentation
Type of Examination:           Participation and presentation 
Marking Scale:                      Pass/fail
Censorship:                          No censor
Exam Period:                        Spring Term
Aids:                                       All aids are permitted
Duration:                               During the complet Spring Term


The exam is devided in two parts. (1) An individual oral exam (20 min)based on a 3 page synopsis which may be written in groups (graded on 7 point scale) and (2) active seminar participation entailing attendance of at least 3 seminars and participation in at least one seminar presentation (graded pass fail).

Retake: (1) 10 page take home essay and (2) 6 page individual essay.
Course content
Global security is often assumed to be something that is provided by states and public (military or police). The rapid growth of global security markets since the end of the cold war has triggered a multifaceted discussion about whether or not this conception needs to be revisited as companies become core global security actors and the politics of global security is “hybridized”. This course is designed intended to open up this these discussions with the aim of allowing participants to formulate their own research questions, understanding, and position in it, something useful not only for the politically interested but also for those interested in understanding how companies relate to their political role.
Teaching methods
Case based teaching combining lectures, workshops with professionals and seminars.
In the lectures the books are contextualized in relation to other theories.
In the professional workshop focussed is placed on the professional practices.
In the seminars we focus on the combination of theory and practice.
Expected literature
Reading: In this course we read four books that vary each year but always books that are important contributions to the discussion about the role of states and companies in the security markets. This year the plan is to focus on:
Companies role in war and peace
Thomson, Janice. 1994. Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Companies role in national/global security
Abrahamsen, Rita, and Michael C. Williams. 2010.Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Companies role in managing the use of global security technology
Singer, Peter W. 2009. Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. New York: Penguin Press.
Companies role in managing the legal regulation of global security
Dickinson, Laura A. 2011. Outsourcing War and Peace: How Privatizing Foreign Affairs Threatens Core Public Values and What We Can Do About It Yale: Yale University Press.
Last updated on 03-05-2012