MAN 5121 Security And Conflict Management

MAN 5121 Security And Conflict Management

Course code: 
MAN 5121
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Nick Sitter
Course name in Norwegian: 
Sikkerhetsledelse og konflikthåndtering
Product category: 
EMM - Security management and Cultural understanding, Specialisation
2024 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
Two semesters

The central topic in the Security and Conflict Management course is security leadership in a changing world order that is characterised by new threats and conflicts – including cyber-security and hybrid war. The course covers the causes and consequences of changing security challenges for states, international, private and voluntary sector organizations, and explores and assesses tools for civilian and military conflict analysis, management, and response.

The program focuses on security at three levels: first, classical security issues related to military threats to the state; second, wider security studies topics including aspects of security such as political, social, economic, environmental and cyber security and a wider set of actors including international organisations and sub-sate groups; and third, security leadership at the organisational and individual level, including corporate and NGO security. One module takes place in Brussels and Paris, and includes visits to EU institutions in the security field, NATO's military and civilian headquarters and French universities and companies.

The first theme focuses on the changing nature of armed conflict, including the big questions in international relations related to security, democracy, power, climate change, natural resources, economic growth, free trade, and how new technologies shape security issues. It covers core concepts in security studies, such as hard and soft power; grand strategy, security strategy and tactics; security cooperation, competition and the security dilemma; and changing global and regional economic, political and military balances of power.

The second theme covers security, geopolitics and grand strategy, including a focus on the EU, the USA and NATO, and the changing geopolitical roles of Russia and China, and international intervention in conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. It also covers the interplay between conventional and hybrid war and the difficulties of international security cooperation in an environment that ranges from classical war and civil war to terrorism and insurgency as well as hybrid-war and frozen conflicts. Norway’s international relations and its relationship with NATO and the EU is also covered.

The third theme concerns corporate security, cyber security, and security leadership in voluntary organisations. This part of the program addresses organisation-level security and risk management in a changing world, with emphasis on leadership and organization, emergency preparedness, risk assessment, and risk mitigation, including political, regulatory and cyber risks; as well as government and international organisations’ strategies for involving the private and voluntary sector in risk and conflict management.

The program should help the participants acquire the ability to analyze international political and economic conflicts and events, and to provide them with a better basis for handling and influencing these conditions at the organisational, national, and the global level. The program is anchored in BIs triple aim of shaping people and business for an international, digital and sustainable future: it covers security leadership in the international, state, business and voluntary sector; it analyses the relationship between global and local security developments and their implications for risk assessment and management; it speaks directly to UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (and more indirectly to the development and partnership related goals 1, 2, 10 and 17).

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The participants shall be in a position to acquire knowledge about holitic apporaches to security, and use specialised knowledge about theories and research methods in security studies and conflict management, and to use theoretical work and historical cases in contemporary social and political context in order to:

  • Acquire advanced knowledge about the changing regional and global security threats in the context of changing global power relations, international political economy, sustainability, and technological change.
  • Acquire advanced knowledge about regional development in different parts of the world, with a focus on Europe, the USA, the Middle East and North Africa, Russia and China.
  • Acquire advanced knowledge about the central themes in security studies, including theories about the causes of armed conflict.
  • Acquire advanced knowledge about the link between international economic and political developments and security, as well as the conflict management roles of the UN, the EU and NATO.
  • Acquire advanced knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of conflict management and strategies and use of military power.
  • Acquire advanced knowledge about how developments in weapons technology, hybrid wars and cyber conflicts affect military strategy, tactics and conflict management.
  • Acquire thorough knowledge about how to acquire and use new information from the academic field as well as think tanks, the media and other open sources to analyse and assess security threats and conflict management, and use this as the basis for policy recommendations for risk management.
  • Acquire thorough knowledge about research and analytical methods in security studies, and the ability to use these to analyse new security-related developments.
Learning outcomes - Skills

The program is designed to imporve the participants' ability to analyse komplex situations, to take tactical, operative and strategic decisions. The couse should improve the participants’ tools and frameworks for analyzing international political and economic events, and to equip them with a basis for action and to shape sustainable policies, both globally and nationally, with respect to conventional, mixed, hybrid, and cyber threats. Participants shall be in a good position to critically assess both academic and policy debates on this topic with respect to information, data, research methods and practical application of academic work. Through independent work based on research using open sources, and in line with pertinent ethics guidelines, they should be able to:

  • Analyse new security threats and options for national and international responses
  • Analyze the development of a particular conflict situation and find pertinent conflict management measures
  • Analyze and assess different types of conflict management
  • Carry out intelligence analysis and threat assessment in crisis situations.
  • Analyse, assess and contribute to the elaboration of crisis management and emergency preparedness plans.
  • Analyse and deal critically with primary and secondary sources of information and use them to structure and formulate scholarly argument
  • Apply their knowledge and skills to carry out independent research and policy analysis in accordance with prevailing norms for research ethics.
  • Write policy papers
General Competence

Participant should imrpovde their genreal competence in decision-making and leadership. Upon completion of the course the participants shall acquire an overall holistic perspective on international political and security developments, be in a position to analyse pertinent research, policy and ethical issues independently, and to:

  • Make decision on an independent basis and to contribute to decision making processes and policy innovation where security questions are central issues
  • Take responsibility, and lead others in an independent, ethical and thoughtful manner
  • Assess their own opportunities and limitations with respect to knowledge about context and available alternative courses of action
  • Apply critical thinking (based on theoretical and empirical work) to assess different types of security threats and the merits of different kinds of security management strategies in the relevant political and social contest, and thereby contribute to policy assessment and innovation.
  • Communicate with academic experts, the policy community and the general public and thereby contribute to public policy debates on security and conflict management.
  • Apply their knowledge and skills to carry out substantial independent analytical work in the field of security leadership, communicate with both security specialists and the general public, and contribute to new thinking and innovation processes in national, international and corporate security.
Course content

Session 1: Security Studies

• Classical security studies: Military security, threats to the state and conflict management strategies (offence, defence and the security dilemma)

• New security studies: wider themes in security (political, social, economic, cyber security) and a wider set of actors (sub-state and international actors)

• Security studies and security at the organisational level


Session 2: Geopolitics, geo-economics and regional conflicts

• The European Union, the USA and NATO’s role and strategies in new conflicts

• Foreign interventions in Afghanistan, Africa, and the Middle East

• Russia and China’s geo-politics and geo-economics

Session 3: Causes of conflict, and conflict management

• Structural causes of conflict (resources, territory, globalization, technological change)

• Social and political conflicts (religion, ethnicity, civil war)

• Hybrid war, the changing dynamics of conflict, and ending armed conflict


Session 4: Corporate Security and Cyber Security

• Country risk analysis and corporate risk assessment

•Threat analysis (assets, vulnerabilities and consequences)

• Contingency planning, emergency preparedness and response

• Political risk, security leadership and crisis management (management and policy tools)


Session 5: Module in Paris and Brussels

• European regional cooperation in external military/police operations

•NATO and new security challenges: the operational dimension

•France’s political risk and security: politics, international intervention, anti-terrorism, counter-radicalisation, political risk management 


Teaching and learning activities

The programme is conducted through five course modules over two semesters, a total of approx. 150 lecturing hours.

Project tutorials includes personal tutorials and tutorials given in class. Generally, the students may expect consulting tutorials, not evaluating tutorials. The total hours of tutorials offered is estimated to 4 hours per term paper.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory, it is the student's own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/ itslearning or other course materials.

The students are evaluated through a term paper, counting 60% of the total grade and a 72 hours individual home exam counting 40%. The term paper may be written individually or in groups of maximum three persons. All evaluations must be passed to obtain a certificate for the programme. 

The term paper is included in the degree’s independent work of degree, cf national regulation on requirements for master’s degree, equivalent to 18 ECTS credits per. programme. For the Executive Master of Management degree, the independent work of degree represents the sum of term papers from three programmes.


In all BI Executive courses and programs, there is a mutual requirement for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Bachelor degree, corresponding to 180 credits from an accredited university, university college or similar educational institution. The applicant must be at least 25 years of age. At least four years of work experience. For applicants who have already completed a master’s degree, three years of work experience are required. (two years of work experience are required for applicants employed at The Norwegian Armed Forces)

Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
Second Semester
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
2 Semester(s)
The students are evaluated through a term paper, counting 60% of the total grade and a 72 hour individual home exam counting 40%. The term paper may be written individually or in groups of maximum three persons. All evaluations must be passed to obtain a certificate for the programme.

The term paper is included in the degree’s independent work of degree, cf national regulation on requirements for master’s degree, equivalent to 18 ECTS credits per. programme. For the Executive Master of Management degree, the independent work of degree represents the sum of term papers from three programmes
Exam code: 
MAN 51211
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
Second Semester
72 Hour(s)
Exam code: 
MAN 51212
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
150 Hour(s)
150 Hour(s)
24 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
76 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
400 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 30 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 800 hours.