Which program to choose ?Watch
I want to find a program about international security, which would provide a study of all issues related to the main subject (like terrorism, non-proliferation...), but with a main focus on armed conflicts/war (between States mostly, but also civil wars). I studied public international law and am currently studying the law of armed conflicts, and I would later like to work in an international organization (UN or NATO mostly), Ministries of Foreign Affairs or Defense, or private military company in a department dealing with armed conflicts and international security issues.
I am currently applying to US programs in this regard, which are :
- Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service (M.A. Security Studies Program)
- George Washington University - Elliott School of International Affairs (M.A. Security Policy Studies)
- American University - School of International Service (M.A. International Affairs : Global Governance, Politics, and Security - Concentration in Global Security)
- Columbia - School of International and Public Affairs (Master of International Affairs - Concentration in International Security Policy - Specialization in International Conflict Resolution)
I have always wanted to study in the US, but I found out there are also some programs offered by London's King's College that seem very relevant with respect to my goals :
- M.A. War Studies
- M.A. International Conflict Studies
- M.A. International Peace and Security (but this program seems to have a pretty important focus on law, but as I have been studying it extensively I'd like to focus on a program which deals entirely with international relations/security/strategic/geopolitics courses if possible)
Here is the thing : I am not quite sure that the US programs deal a lot with war. I am afraid they are too centered on general international security issues (such as terrorism etc) rather than "proper" armed conflicts.
Based on your knowledge about these programs/common sense and keeping in mind my career goals/previous studies/what I want to study, what would be your best advice for me ?
Thank you very much !
More about King's College London
The programmes at KCL provide ample opportunity to study war and the history of conflict - even if your core module does not provide this history, you have the opportunity to take optional modules that focus on anything from advanced weapons to war games to the history of war and insurgency in the middle east. You are correct that the MA in IPS does focus pretty heavily on international law - in fact, it is taught jointly by War Studies and the Law School. The War Studies MA is very history focused - us students in the WS department refer to these MA's as the historians, but they tend to study past wars and conflicts. I'm afraid I do not know much about the International Conflict Studies programme. The one thing I can say quite positively, however, is that if you want a programme that is IR and security focused, War Studies is the place to be - the MA in International Relations, for example, would potentially be excellent for you. Your core course would be IR theory and then you take 2 optional modules, where you could focus on history of conflicts/war and geopolitics, for example. There are so many options. I am in the Terrorism MA and am taking optional courses on CBRNE weapons and Homegrown Radicalisation and Counter Radicalisation in the West.
As an example, this year my lecturers have been Peter Neumann, who founded the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Sir David Omand, former head of GCHQ, Dr. Paul Gill, who is the foremost expert on lone-actor terrorism, and so many others. You get an unrivalled mix of expert knowledge and hands-on experience to prepare you for degrees in International Relations, International Politics and so many other careers. Plus, as an added bonus, you get to live in London and the programme is condensed to a year! I hope this has been helpful!