New Masters in Global Security Program Has Unique Holistic Approach to Prepare Students for Tomorrow’s Threats > News > USC Dornsife

USC Dornsife’s master’s program in Global Security Studies combines courses in international relations, space science, and environmental studies, and draws on resources from the USC Shoah Foundation.

USC Dornsife’s new Master of Arts in Global Security Studies program teaches students to understand our dynamic world through expertise in political science, international relations, economics, space science, and environmental studies. (Image source: iStock.)

In short:

  • Through unique holistic coursework and a summer internship, USC Dornsife’s new Masters in Global Security program prepares students for careers or career progression in national defense, human rights , disaster relief and related fields.
  • The faculty of the program includes esteemed academics and seasoned professionals from government, NGOs and the private sector.
  • The application deadline for the two-year term beginning in fall 2022 is July 15.

Canada’s decision to spend record sums on its naval fleet after years of poor budget allocations may seem odd at first, but the mystery is quickly dispelled with a closer look at climate data showing rapid ice retreat from the nation’s coastline, says John Wilson, a professor of sociology, architecture, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, preventive medicine, and space science at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

“There are a whole host of opportunities, challenges and threats in the Arctic due to global warming, and this will have an effect on many areas,” Wilson said.

Without ice, Canada’s coastline is more accessible to ships, whether hostile military craft or everyday transport and trade vessels. Seen in this larger context, it is easier to understand the country’s defense spending and to make predictions about its future political and economic actions.

Understanding our changing world through the lens of experts in political science, international relations, economics, space science, and environmental studies will be the focus of USC Dornsife’s new Master of Arts in Global Security Studies program. The two-year, full-time program, which begins in fall 2022, offers students a choice of three concentrations: Intelligence and Security, Global Security and Humanitarian Response, or Environmental Security.

Students who wish to pursue or advance a career in government, or in non-governmental organizations such as those dealing with human rights, or in private business, including those focused on national security, will find the program particularly useful, says Steven Lamy, USC Dornsife Distinguished Professor of International Relations and Space Science.

Lamy points to the internship opportunities and the space science component of the program as two things that set it apart from other master’s programs like this.

“It’s not just government agencies, it’s a lot of non-governmental and private sector actors who are looking for people who have the skills in space science to do things like assess attacks during war and how populations assigned to it, using map data,” Lamy explains.

“To provide students with real-world and meaningful experience, we are also planning internship opportunities here in the United States, such as at the Department of State, and abroad, in places like Latin America and Europe. “

The faculty members of the program are renowned scholars in the fields of international relations, defense, marine ecology, global human rights, spatial analysis, disaster management, mass violence and national intelligence.

Human Security

Lamy says the program will cover several areas of global security: traditional security, which is typically military defense and other protections for nation states; environmental security, which relates to the effects of climate change, man-made and natural disasters, and similar factors on people; and human security, which is a newer concept that emphasizes the human rights and sovereignty of the individual rather than the nation state.

Often, countries focus on the economic or political autonomy of the nation, but the experiences of the humans within it slip through the cracks, Lamy says. To help students understand the real effects of war and other disasters on populations, the program will draw on the extensive resources of the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.

Amy Carnes, acting chief of staff at the USC Shoah Foundation, says the institute will teach students how to analyze the testimonies of survivors of war and genocide, and use those accounts to highlight the human impact of mass violence. and underline the humanity in humanity. Security.

“One of the big issues in rebuilding society after genocide is how to hold people to account, how to use existing legal systems or invent new ones to try to bring justice to what happened. past,” Carnes said. She adds that the institute’s partnerships with UNESCO and organizations that work with survivors of events like the Holocaust and genocide in Rwanda provide students with material from a wide variety of contexts.

“Because we have connections with so many partners around the world who do work related to human security and the consequences of mass violence, we have many resources and bring a lot to the table in terms of partners and practical practices. experience,” says Carnes.

Environmental elements

The program offers environmental security as another key component, and Wilson says students will learn to use geographic information systems (GIS) tools and other data to examine in real time how populations respond to wars, earthquakes dirt, pollution and more. Using these tools to explore the long-term impact of international events will also be key to predicting disasters and creating solutions, he adds.

“Ukraine is one of the largest food exporters in the world, and Russia apparently intends to close all of Ukraine’s shipping routes,” Wilson said. Much of the world, many of which are suffering from the effects of drought and other factors related to climate change, depends on Ukrainian agricultural exports for food. “Without Ukraine’s crops, we risk facing a serious humanitarian crisis.”

The program’s emphasis on scientific data collection as well as survivor and eyewitness testimony, in addition to a broader look at current politics and historical events, will train students well in their fields, whether in government or humanitarian aid, says Wilson. Being able to see the connections between climate change and Canadian defense policy, for example, or how the war in Ukraine will affect people in other countries and on other continents, is important for people who want to make meaningful change. , he adds.

“I think to make a difference, we need creative thinkers who can tackle big issues that often span multiple countries, and then use sophisticated data analysis and modeling to bring the parties together to implement solutions to these problems,” he said.

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