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Course descriptions

Introduction to International Law (1st semester) 
The course Introduction to International Law provides students with a thorough overview of the international legal system. Students will analyze current events from a legal perspective and track the impact of international law in international relations. The course reviews, amongst others, the role of the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, human rights and the UN norm “responsibility to protect.” Students will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of international law and examine whether it matters

Introduction to International Security (1st semester) 
This course will provide students with the foundational concepts to understand and analyze the contemporary security environment. While news reports are replete with information on the growth of the Chinese economy, the various endogenous and exogenous challenges to European security, or the development of new military technologies, there is a need to better understand the dynamics underpinning those issues. Therefore, this class will focus on traditional issues in security studies such as power, deterrence, arms control or alliances, and more recent issues such as human security and environmental change. The class will systematically combine conceptual analysis with contemporary empirical examples of the dynamics described, in order for students to develop their analytical skills.

Human Rights in International Security and Law (1st semester)
The Human Rights in International Security and Law course provides a mixture of law and political science that considers the ideological, philosophical, historical, and practical underpinnings of human rights, together with their contemporary application and development. The course is designed to be part of a progressive application of skills learned in the first half of the first semester in MOISL, through an application of those skill acquired in the introduction to international relations and international law in contemporary human rights and international human rights law. The class will engage human rights discourse and practice specifically in the context of conflict prevention, examining the relationship between human rights and security.

New Wars and Conflicts (2nd semester) 
The course, New Wars and Conflicts, provide the students with a theoretically informed understanding of changes in modern warfare since the end of the Cold War as well as insight into the distinct characteristics of different types of contemporary wars. New Wars introduces the most important theories and concepts of contemporary  warfare and enables the students to place current military conflicts in historical and theoretical context. The course thus also addresses the basic question of whether the nature of war has fundamentally changed during the past two decades.  

The Laws of New Wars (2nd semester) 
The atrocious conflicts in Syria, Yemen and South Sudan underscore and bring into question the significance of the laws of war: what is the role and impact of international law in such situations, if any? When can states legally use force in  international relations? What are the current challenges faced by UN peacekeeping, the fight against international terrorism and the use of drones? What are soldiers and non-state actors allowed to do during armed conflict and what qualifies as a war crime? How should we understand the scope and capacity of the Geneva Conventions as guides and constraints on individual and state behavior? These questions are examples of the issues analyzed in this course.

From Theory to Practice (2nd semester)
This course is built around am award-winning two-day simulation game, allowing the students to explore and apply the concepts and theories learned throughout the first two semesters of this Master’s degree in a crisis scenario inspired by the real world. As the course title indicate, it aims to allow students to put theory into practice in attempting to solve an international crisis. The course gives the students insights into how questions of international relations, politics, law, and ethics interact; and trains skills highly relevant to the labor market in challenging the students’ ability to work in teams, to make strategies and plans under time pressure, and to negotiate a solution to the crisis. 

Last Updated 23.02.2021