Security ranks high on both the societal as well as political agenda. The threat of terrorism, transnational organized crime, civil war, urban riots or natural disasters is making headlines almost every day and is a guarantee for political turmoil. Although from a factual perspective the risk of high-end security incidents is in most Western countries low, the risk perception is far more higher. When it comes to security and crisis, risk perception seems to be as important as actual risk assessments.
During the one year multi-disciplinary master program students will become familiar with the political and social dimensions of the governance of (in)security and crises. By analyzing security discourses, security actors, security practices and security outcomes students will become acquainted with the ‘wicked problem’ of security and crises topics in a complex and globalizing world.
As security is no longer a public good solely provided by state actors or public actors but the combined outcome of public actors, private security actors, civil society and citizens as well, the master program will focus on the multiplicity of actors engaged in defining and practicing security.
Further, as a result of the globalized and interwoven world of today in which incidents, images and messages travel within seconds from one part of the world to another part of the world, students will study current security and crisis challenges from a ‘glocal’ perspective: both global and local levels and especially the nexus of those levels.
In the master’s program students will be confronted with the insights of various academic disciplines and a combination of theory and practice and skills relevant for a professional career in public or private security and crisis organizations. Students will become familiar with the causes of different forms of crises and threats to security, with patterns of responses and governance of these phenomena, and policies and strategies to prevent threats, incidents or crises. The Master thesis project provides students the opportunity to specifically focus on one particular type of crisis or security issue and how certain actors deal with it.
The attack in Norway not only illustrates the diversity in political background of terrorism, but also debunks the myth that only Jihadists terrorists aim to cause mass casualties.
Sadly, it also puts an end to the false idea that some smaller countries are exempted from this menace. In a very brutal way, the events in Oslo and on the isle of Utøya have provided us with a less pleasant, but also more balanced view on terrorism in Europe. Now it is clear to all that terrorism in Europe is a very diverse phenomenon that includes a wide range of actors that aim to create havoc. This is not to say that Islamist terrorism does not stick out as the potentially most dangerous one. Whatever the scale of the tragedy in Norway, given the number of arrests, the (foiled and failed) attacks in the past, and the frequency of the threat statements to EU Member States, Islamist terrorism should still be regarded as the most lethal and threatening type of terrorism. Moreover, its political and social impact can be enormous, as exemplified by the Islamophobic ideas that fueled Anders Breivik’s process of radicalisation and his belief that Islamist groups are on the verge of taking over Europe.
“The Master has opened many doors for me academically and professionally. I selected this master’s program as it offered a governance perspective into crisis and security issues that other traditional degrees did not offer.”
The program is taught in The Hague, in the same city as many international and European institutions such as Europol, Eurojust, NATO NCIA, the UN Tribunals, the ICJ, ICC, and UNHCR, along with Dutch government- making The Hague the perfect city to study crisis and security management.
I selected this master’s program as it offered a governance perspective into crisis and security issues that other traditional degrees did not offer. Current affairs and modern challenges to the state are at the core of this degree’s courses with subjects ranging from Crisis Management, Cyber Security Governance, Intelligence Organizations, Security and the Rule of Law, and Local Security Networks. These multi-disciplinary courses provide with great theoretical insights into contemporary security issues that were happening in local and international news. Though it is a theoretical program, the case studies presented and the guest lectures by professional practitioners and renowned academics provide concrete examples to the different course subjects.
The program consists of a mixture of lectures and working groups. Some courses will require students to present with a team, participate in a debate, or participate in crisis simulation, giving you the opportunity to interact with your fellow classmates. The interaction with peers was a great strength of this program as classmates came from different backgrounds, such as governments, from the army, and from private sector companies both at the Dutch and international levels. Lectures were also easy to approach and were open to discuss paper topics and provide feedback for my work.
Though it is a full-time study, it is not difficult to find internships or traineeships to work in alongside your studies. These working opportunities usually complement the study quite well and allow you to apply the theory and concepts you have learned to concrete issues the public and private sector are facing. During my time at CSM, I interned at the United Nations Development Programme in New York City on using web intelligence for early warning and the Center for Terrorism and Counter Terrorism where I worked on several Cyber Security projects.
This degree teaches you the skills necessary to become a professional researcher in a security or crisis related field, a civil servant at a security, defense, or foreign or internal affairs institution at the national, EU-level, or UN-level, or to be a private sector professional advising other institutions about these issues. Regardless of your focus, this degree provides you with the tools to tackle emerging security and crisis issues through a governance perspective.