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Security studies: national and international dimension

Semester Program in English
Department of Security and International Affairs
University of Lower Silesia

Conatct: Admission Office at the Faculty of Social Sciences


Security studies is an interdisciplinary program offering knowledge and expertise from areas of: political science, international relations, European studies, law, military science and philosophy. The program is dedicated to students willing to acquire skills concerning phenomena and processes related to security comprehended on various levels (individual, social, institutional, state or international) and in broad range of aspects (military, political, economic, social, cultural, environmental). Special attention will be paid to the combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Lectures and practical classes serve to accomplish the described approach. The significant constituent of each seminar is individual or team work of the participants, concentrated on: case studies of phenomena, processes and threats, critical policy analyses, policy briefs creation, case study projects, essays. The content of the seminars is presented below:


Courses offered:

Multidimensional security: theory and reality, Prof. Elżbieta Stadtmüller, 15 h lectures + practical classes, 5 ECTS

The aim of the course is to present and explain the concept of multidimensional security in theory on the background of the main contemporary trends concerning security (military, economic, environmental, cultural, social aspects). The seminar will focus on the main theoretical approaches towards security (realism, liberalism, globalism, social constructivism and post-positivism concepts). Hence, multidimensional security as well as global and regional security projects and strategies of states will be considered.  However, the aim is also to address knowledge from the lectures to the processes, phenomena, and situations appearing in international relations. As a result, the student should be able to connect theoretical approaches with case studies. Components of evaluation: attendance, active participation in the discussions, case study project.


Grand Strategy for information age national and international security, Jerzy Dereń, PhD, 15h practical classes, 5 ECTS

Grand Strategy deals with the big, important things in history: war, diplomacy, revolution, constitutions, great books, great men. This focus allows the Grand Strategist to operate in various areas relevant to the international security in contemporary world. Some of them pertain to the Revolution in Military Affair (RMA), System of Systems, Modelling and Simulation, Effects Based Approaches for Operations, Strategic Planning and its Centres of Gravity and Critical Vulnerabilities. The ultimate goal of "Studies in Grand Strategy" is to teach Future World Leader, "how to connect desired ends with available means" to attain whatever results an individual, corporation or nation might be seeking. This one semester course aims to examine the theory and practice of grand strategy in both historical and contemporary contexts, from a variety of analytical perspectives. Components of evaluation: team-prepared policy briefs, as well as an end-of-semester individual term paper.


Open society and its enemies: past and present, Prof. Dariusz Aleksandrowicz, 15 h. lecture, 5 ECTS

The lecture deals with the problems of the „open society” due to the challenges this society is/was confronted with in the present world as well as in the past. It starts with the classical work of Karl Popper „The Open Society and Its Enemies” which was written in the 1940’s, when the „open society” was threatened by totalitarian systems (national socialism and soviet communism) and concerns the ideological roots of this confrontation. The second part of the lecture aims at exposing how the respective problems appear in the new situation, that emerged from the decline of the bipolar world system. Performance requirements: written essay of about 10 pages (or alternatively examination, or short essay + short examination).

European Union and its challenges – module classes, Aleksandra Moroska-Bonkiewicz, PhD, 25h. practical classes, 9 ECTS


The rise of Euroscepticism. Comparative analyses of parties politics and societal attitudes, 15h practical classes, 5 ECTS

Euroscepticism has become recently a wide – spread phenomenon, which pose a threat of integration in the European Union. It is situated at the intersection between the national and European levels, mapping oppositional responses to the integration process. The aim of this seminar is to analyze the causes and political consequences of Euroscepticism in the individual countries as well as for the UE. The aim of the first part of the seminar is to introduce the concepts of Euroscepticism and theories of this new discipline. The second part concerns the practical use of the introduced theories - examination of Euroscepticism in the party systems and among public opinion. The aim of the seminar is to provide the participants with the theoretical instruments, which will be used for analysis of the chosen cases and what is more, for synthesis of the findings. Components of evaluation: attendance, active participation in discussions, case study presentation.


Democracies facing Populism and Extremism, 10h practical classes, 4 ECTS

Nowadays, extremism and populism constitute elements of social and political environment in Europe. They refer to various political concepts and doctrines (left, right, religious), as well as practical activities of different groups and organizations (parties, associations, subcultures). Some of them became a major challenge for liberal democracies. The aim of this seminar is to identify and differentiate types of political populism and extremism, analysis of the causes, political and societal consequences of those phenomena as well as potential threats, which they pose to the safety of individual countries. Attention will be also paid to the different strategies for combating extremism in Europe. Components of evaluation: attendance, active participation in discussions, creation of the individual policy briefs. 


Contemporary threats and challenges for international security, Prof. Krzysztof Kubiak, 10h, practical classes, 3 ECTS

The aim of the course is to show contemporary threats and challenges of the system of the international security and safety. The major problems, presented below, are taken into consideration: military threats (the proliferation of the weapon of mass destruction, the military aspiration and possibilities of the raising powers, the military possibilities of non-state actors, the evolution and transformation of the contemporary wars and armed conflicts), terrorist threats (terrorism as the weapon of contemporary conflicts), criminal threats (organized crime, narco-bussines, human trafficking, weapon smuggling), social threats (demographic demands, migrations, gap of welfare), new threats (climate challenges, technological challenges). Performance requirements: attendance; the final paper.


Environmental Security, Helena Wyligała, PhD, 10h practical classes, 3 ECTS

The relations between the environment and the security of humans and nature is currently the most important and interesting area for social and scientific discussion. The main aim of this course is to present fundamental topics within the Environmental Security studies. During the seminar student will be familiarized with the theory and research methodology developed in Anglo-American science area. From the global perspective student will select main categories of environmental problems, which affect national security and interstate relations. The analysis of the chosen conflicts on strategic resources (water, etc.) will emphasize the importance of natural resources for the development of the countries or/and its power. The regulations of the environmental security problems will be discussed in the framework of soft-solutions and initiatives of International Organizations and tools applied by different governments. using the examples of Poland and Germany, students will get known the effects of the climate change on particular countries, what is more, will know  how the crisis management procedures developed in Poland and Germany and understand the strategic political decisions on the climate and energy policy. After the course, student should understand better the contemporary priorities, interests and trends in Environmental Security studies. Components of the evaluation: attendance, active participation in the discussions, individual presentation. 


The program is taught in English and welcomes both international and Polish students. It is primarily offered for Erasmus Students, undergraduates and graduates,  still, students from non EU / EFTA countries are also eligible to apply and warmly welcomed.

If you are interested please get in touch with Jadwiga Dobrowolska-Dyrcz, Head of the International Programs’ Office and EU Programs’ Coordinator ( or Aleksandra Moroska-Bonkiewicz, Departmental  Coordinator of the Security Studies Program ( Please also see International Students site for details about enrolling, accommodation, etc.