Dickinson’s certificate program in security studies exemplifies the college’s commitment to providing students with a relevant, globally oriented education. Students in security studies will focus on international relations theory, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. national security policy and strategy as well as transnational issues and the concerns of other countries or regions.
Dickinson’s certificate in security studies will benefit students who are simply curious about the world around them as well as those pursuing careers in a variety of fields ranging from foreign affairs and economics to the military and the environmental sciences.
The program entails two major areas for exploration:
- U.S.-centric, involving the study of the formulation and implementation of U.S. national security strategy; domestic institutional structures such as the National Security Council or the Department of Homeland Security; overarching concerns such as civilian-military relations, just-war theory or adherence by U.S. soldiers to the Geneva Conventions; and the effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy.
- Instability and conflict in various parts of the world, systemic level threats and regional and international policy structures and initiatives.
Over the past two decades, the people of the world have become more interdependent and the structure of the global system has changed. As a byproduct of those developments, the nature of threats to the national interests of each country has become more complex. Furthermore, some threats tend to cross national boundaries and encompass the well-being of all human beings.
Thus, the list of immediate and longer-term threats to the national interests of the United States or of other countries now includes interstate conflicts, civil wars marked by genocide, abuses of human rights, attacks on civilian populations by terrorist organizations, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, global pandemics and the catastrophic effects of global climate change. The changing nature of threats makes things more difficult for leaders, who must shape a response via some combination of diplomatic, economic, military and informational instruments of power.
In light of those developments, this program gives students from a range of disciplines an opportunity to explore an area of increasing relevance, while drawing upon both the internal strengths of Dickinson and as well the relationships that the college has with the United States Army War College and its sister institution, the United States Army Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute, as well as with the Pennsylvania State University School of International Affairs.