In this task, you are asked to analyze a non-academic source that reports on a security-related issue: Security Studies Other, UCL, UK

University University of London (UOL)
Subject Security Studies

Task 2: Analysis of a non-academic text or speech (1500 words)

Task 2: Analysis of a non-academic text or speech (1500 words)

In this task, you are asked to analyze a non-academic source that reports on a security-related issue. You can use an official report, newspaper article, a speech, TV news segment, government webpage, podcast or any other medium.

You will need to analyze this source by focusing on a theme/issue and using the theoretical discussions from this module to analyze the material.

  1. Choose a theme or issue or topic from this list(this is a good way to start if you’re stuck as to how to choose a text)
    • War/conflict
    • Terrorism
    • Humanitarian intervention
    • Environmental security
    • Any other security-related topic of your choice
  1. Find a non-academic source which relates to your chosen topic. 

Here are some texts which were part of the weeks 2-11 learning activities. You are welcome to use one of these as your text to analyse in task 2, or you can find another text of your own choosing:

  • Canada’s official foreign policy webpage.
  • Switzerland’s official foreign affairs department webpage.
  • UK Government, Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)(2020).
  • International Committee of the Red Cross, When Rain Turns to Dust: Understanding and Responding to the Combined Impact of Armed Conflicts and the Climate and Environment Crisis on People’s Lives(2020).
  • Human Rights Watch, Central African Republic: Sexual Violence as Weapon of War(2017).
  • Jame Grierson, Should the Plymouth shootings be declared an act of terror?, The Guardian(2021).
  1. Analyse your chosen source using ONE of the critical perspectives that we have explored over the course of this module (e.g. constructivism, post-colonialism, feminism, ecological security).

To avoid duplication, this perspective should NOT be the same as the topic that you chose from Task 1. So for instance, if you analysed Ken Booth’s article on emancipation for Task 1, you must not use the emancipation perspective for Task 2.

Think about the following questions:

  • How can the source be analysed through the prism of critical approaches to security studies?
  • What is the focal point and why?
  • Is there anything missing from the text, and might your chosen critical perspective shed light on this?
  • How does the text construct and represent ideas about security, threat, fear and danger?
  • What kind of language is used?
  • What is the dominant frame used by the report to represent this issue, and why?

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