International Security Studies (M.A.)
Trinity’s international security studies program provides students with a strong foundation to confront the ever-changing, fast-paced and challenging international security environment. With an emphasis on traditional and emerging transnational security threats, we prepare students for analytical, operational and leadership careers in international security in the public and private sectors.
Our program ensures students’ competence in the threats (state and non-state) that cause instability and conflict within the international security environment. It also develops students’ intellectual understanding of the strategies and methods of prevention, both those involving diplomacy and those involving force.
Featured CoursesISS 505 Violent Non-State Actors and Threats to SecurityViolent Non-State Actors (VNSAs) have increasingly impacted state, regional and international security. This course examines the major VNSAs-with particular focus on the Al Qaeda's transnational network, Hezbollah, the Taliban insurgent movement, Transnational Criminal Organizations, particularly Mexican and Colombian Cartels, Somali Pirates, the MEND, to name a few-and their motivations. The second part of the course examines how violent non-state actors have impacted security at the state, regional, and international levels. The final portion of the course explores the strategies pursued by the United States (and other states or international organizations) and accesses the success/failure of those strategies to confront the threat posed by VNSAs.
Prerequisite: ISS 501 ISS 515 Globalization, War, Peace and International SecurityThis course explores humanity's most persistent and tragic problems by addressing a series of topics ranging from military power, the influence of international law and organizations to prevent war, understanding the choice between war and peace, codifying the recent changes in contemporary warfare, and the impact of nuclear weapons and terrorism. These issues are viewed through the prism of globalization to enhance student understanding of an emerging interpretation of international security. From another perspective, this course evaluates three distinct 'processes' of globalization-the intensification of economic exchange, the flow of information, and marketization-and explores how these dynamics impact regional and international security.
Prerequisite: ISS 501 ISS 521 United Nations and International SecuritySince the conclusion of World War II, the United Nations took its place as the most important international organization. Over the course of its history two questions have defined the role of the United Nations: "Is it a debate society? Or does it have a role, as forum, vehicle, or actor, in addressing the most important security issues facing the world today? This course examines the role of the UN in preventing international and civil violence, arms control, deterring and reversing aggression, and addressing humanitarian crises. Similarly, this course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the critical issues, positions, and problems confronting the United Nations and its member states in the post-September 11 environment that have offered increased opportunities for Security Council intervention and the issues that have called into the effectiveness of the organization designed to confront threats to international security.
Prerequisites: None ISS 629 Al Qaeda and the Evolution of Fourth Generation Warfare (FGW)The course provides students with a comprehensive examination of the security threats posed by Al Qaeda. The course is divided into four sections. The opening portion of this course is foundational, exploring the Western formations of warfare. The second component of the course explores the regional expressions of fourth generation warfare. Here the course examines the influences of Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minhs application of FGW in Asia in advancing communism. Similarly, the course explores the application of FGW from two dissimilar perspectives: from two major Middle Eastern groupsThe Muslim Brotherhood (based on the politicalization of Sunni Islam) and Hezbollah (based on the politicalization of Shia Islam). The third portion provides a comprehensive exploration Al Qaedas transformation from a regional terrorist threat to a transnational network that radically altered FGW. Finally, the course concludes with the U.S. military response to Al Qaedas new and improved version of FGW.
Prerequisites: None ISS 631 Intelligence and CounterintelligenceThis course provides students with a comprehensive foundation for understanding Intelligence and Counterintelligence (IC) as concepts, processes, and careers. The course emphasis is on the historical and contemporary approaches to Intelligence and Counterterrorism and why both are needed more now than ever to confront the ever-evolving threats to international security. Over the course of the term students will become familiar with the diverse Intelligence and Counterintelligence communities and the responsibilities these organizations have in protecting U.S. security interests. The process of collection, dissemination, consumption, and feedback within the intelligence discipline is explained. Students will also begin to consider the tr ansformational challenges that exist within the IC communities for the 21st century.
Prerequisites: None ISS 655 Piracy in Somalia: Regional and International Security DimensionsThis course examines the evolution of Piracy in Somalia. The course explores the internal domestic dynamics (the collapse of the regime of Siade Barre, clan violence, religious extremism and poverty) along with external factors (outside intervention, from the United Nations, the United States, and Ethiopia) and Western encroachment into local fishing areas. Second, the course explores the connection of local pirate groups and the extent to which these groups are loyal to or allies of Al Shabab. Finally, the course examines how all of these dynamics have contributed to lawlessness in Somalia and how Somali piracy has contributed to regional and international instability.
3 Credits ISS 662 New Frontiers in Middle East SecurityThe course examines the major security challenges in the contemporary Middle East. The opening portion of the course explores the major terrorist threats in the region whether in the form of Hezbollah, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or the diminished threat posed by Al Qaeda in Iraq or the larger threat posed by Al Qaeda central. The second portion of the course explores the Arab-Israeli conflict and the impact of U.S. negotiation strategies. At another level, the course examines the role of the United States in the stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Finally, the course explores the potential for regional nuclear proliferation in the wake of Iranian efforts to develop a n uclear device.
Prerequisites: None ISS 667 Role of Women, Peace and Establishment of SecurityThis course has three objectives. The opening part of the course explores of the contributions of female scholars to international security studies. The second portion of the course addresses the degree to which females have worked to secure peace in the form of conflict resolution and peace in the form of drawing attention to violence toward women or efforts to eliminate violence. The course will utilize a host of case studies to ensure that students comprehend the extensive efforts of women in these two critical areas. Finally portion of the course examines the state of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. The objective of UNSCR 1325 called for, among other things, to respect the rights of women and called for the "adoption of a gender perspective" that called for special needs of women and girls during periods of repatriation and resettlement in the wake of post-conflict reconstruction. At issue, how successful was the UN in meeting these objectives? The course assesses the degree to which the resolution was implemented by the United Nations.
- Intelligence Analyst
- Policy Analyst
- Counterintelligence Analyst