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Algorithmic Security Politics


This course is earmarked for PTLJ, NECD, IP


From regulating biometric borders to powering killer unmanned drones and autonomous weapons, artificial intelligence is in the process of revolutionizing the global politics of international security. The aim of this course is to answer two main questions: First, what exactly are these current developments? Distinguishing fact from fiction, it aims at providing students an empirical account of these technological developments and their impact on contemporary politics of security. Second, when not only humans, but also technologies make the decisions, how can we theorize agency, consciousness and responsibility? The course thus introduces students to new developments in theories of political science and international relations and their dialogue with adjacent fields such as science and technologies studies and critical data studies.

Course Objectives

1. Understand, at a general level, how technological systems broadly refered to as "Artificial Intelligence" work
2. Understand the ethical, legal, social and political implications of the use of these systems in a broad range of sectors of political life.
3. Understand and master the various theoretical perspectives in Data studies, Science and Technology Studies as well as Critical Security Studies that allow to make sense of these political practices.

Mode of Instruction


Assessment Method

  • Participation (15%)

  • Reaction papers (15%) – A weekly 500 (± 10%) words critical reflection on the week’s readings.

  • Oral presentation (30%) A presentation answering the seminar’s question, based on the weeks readings and additional external readings

  • Presentation Paper (40%) a 3,000 words paper based on the presentation


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