Excerpt from course description

Security And Conflict Management


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 and management.

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.

The first theme focuses concerns 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, 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 has strong cyber-conflict and hybrid-war dimensions and involves a range of national and international actors on the cyber-security scene; and 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).

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: 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 3: 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 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

•Cyber security, vulnerability, threat assessment, 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



This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.