Security & Safety Challenges in a Globalized World

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Security and safety challenges rank among the most pressing issues of modern times. Challenges such as, cyber-crime, terrorism, and environmental disasters impact the lives of millions across the globe. These issues also rank high on the agenda of politicians, international organizations and businesses. They also feature prominently in the public conscience and in governmental policies.

In the current, interconnected world, security challenges are becoming increasingly complex. Facilitated by developments as globalization and the spread of networked and hyper-connected technologies, new safety and security challenges arise and impact local, national, regional and international levels, which dramatically increases their complexity and scale. As such, solutions to contemporary security challenges require a wide array of actors operating on multiple levels of governance.

The course will introduce you to the broad theme of security and safety in an increasingly complex world. Together we will search for answers to important questions: what is security and safety? How can we understand complex modern-day security and safety challenges? And how do we deal with such challenges? This course combines scholarly inquiry from multiple disciplines (ranging from terrorism studies, to crisis management, to medical science) with real-life cases to explore and understand complex modern-day safety and security challenges.


-Welcome to the first module! This module features an introduction to the course and explains the main topic addressed, as well as introduces you to the teaching staff. Before you start with studying we invite you to first go through our introductory resources and introduce yourself in the forum to meet your fellow learners. If you encounter any difficulties while studying, please let us know in the forum. For technical difficulties or questions regarding the course certificate, you can always contact the Coursera Learner Helpdesk. Good luck and we hope you will enjoy the course!

Global Challenges and Wicked Problems
-In this module you will learn about global challenges. In the modern, interconnected world, security and safety challenges are increasingly complex, impacting local, national, regional and international levels. You will also learn why many of these challenges can be labeled as 'wicked problems'; they are challenges which are difficult or impossible to solve because they have many different causes, are difficult to describe, and don’t have a single 'right' answer.

Safety and Security
-In this module, you will learn more about safety and security. Safety and security have now become buzz words for society, marking the top of the agendas of politicians, businesses and many other actors worldwide. But what do these concepts mean? In this module we address the difference between safety and security. In addition, you will learn about one of the most important approaches to dealing with issues of safety and security, namely risk management.

Perspectives and Levels
-In this module, you will learn more about the different actors and levels of governance involved in contemporary security and safety challenges. You will also learn a three-step approach which can be used to unravel modern-day safety and security challenges in an academic way.

Case Studies
-In this module, we will take a closer look at three specific cases of security and safety. Using the three-step approach from the previous module, we will unravel these cases to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of modern-day safety and security challenges.

Security and Safety in Practice
-In this module, we will continue to take a closer look at real-life cases of security and safety. Through interviews with three experts, we will look at the different actors and perspectives that are involved in the management of a specific type of security incident, namely a breach of cyber security.

Case Study: Explore, Understand, Do.
-In this final module, you will be asked to apply all the knowledge from the previous modules towards unraveling a real-life safety and security case. Using the three-step approach of Explore, Understand and Do from previous modules, you will analyze how this case unfolded, which actors and specific levels of governance were involved, and apply various academic perspectives.