Undergraduate Course: Armed Force and Society (SCPL10039)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course explores the relationship between armed force and society. A main focus will be on the on the role of technology in the politics and social dynamics of armed conflict. Technology, whether it be machetes or nuclear weapons, lies at the heart of conflict, and this course uses a range of perspectives, to investigate the nature and impact of armed force. These theoretical perspectives will be exemplified through the extensive use of case studies, and no prior theoretical or specialist technical knowledge is required. The course has a particular emphasis on nuclear weapons and the Cold War, but also covers issues such as terrorism, the arms trade, and the Revolution in Military Affairs.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COURSE REPLACES "STIS10005 - ARMED FORCE AND SOCIETY".
The main focus of the course is sociological and political perspectives on the relationship between human societies and military technologies, which we explore via discussion of a wide range of historical case studies and contemporary security issues including discussion and analyses of the distinctive nature of military technologies and the way they are shaped by social and political factors. An analyses of the role played by military technology in shaping the nature and outcome of conflicts, as well as the nature of peacetime society will be included alongside an investigation of the ways that knowledge about military technology is derived, and of the effects that high levels of military R&D have had on economic activity, and scientific agendas.
Barry Buzan and Eric Herring, The Arms Dynamic in World Politics (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998) provides the best coverage of the theoretical issues dealt with in the course.
Max Boot, War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today (Gotham, 2006).
An excellent reader on technology in general, with a section on the military, is Donald MacKenzie and Judy Wajcman (eds.), The Social Shaping of Technology (Open University Press, Second Edition, 1999).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Describe how a wide range of military technologies relate to society.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the connection between the development of technology, the armed forces and society, including policy and the world of work.
- Use relevant insights from a multi-disciplinary range of theories including social theory and international relations theory in order to engage critically with the impact of new technologies as developed by the armed forces.
- Demonstrate knowledge of why the relationship of technology and society is a product of historical, political, social and cultural factors.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Mr Richard Brodie
Tel: (0131 6)50 4278