National Security Studies Program

MA in Political Science, Specialization in National Security Studies


All Mandatory class are held in Terrace Building, 4th floor, Room 4041

 Fall semester           30.10.2016-27.1.2017

  • Approaches to Political Science - Prof. Gabriel Ben-Dor, Thursday  8:30-11:45
  • The National Security of Israel -Dr. Dan Schueftan,Thursday 12:15-15:45
  • Economics and National Security-Prof. Norman Bailey, Friday  10:00-12:30


  • Regional Conflicts: Between War and Peace-Prof. Benny Miller,  Tuesday 12:15-15:45,Terrace Building, 4th floor, Room 4041
  • Political Islam-Prof. Itzhak Weisman,Monday 12:15-15:45, Terrace Building, 4th floor, Room 4041
  • Theories of Diplomacy-Prof. Ben Mor,Thursday 16:15-19:45,Rabin Building, Room 6011

       Spring semester5.3.2017-20.6.2017


  • National Security: The Practioners' Perspective-Dr. Dan Schueftan ,Thursday  8:30-11:45
  • Human Rights, Ethics and Diplomacy-Prof. Gad Barzilai,Thursday 12:15-15:45
  • The Middle East in World Politics- Dr. Rachel Swisa, Friday 8:30-11:00 


  • Peacekeeping Operations: A Tool for new world order?-Dr. Chen KIercher, Monday 12:15-15:45, Student House, Room 273
  • Multi-Track Diplomacy: Transforming Violent Conflict-Prof. Edy Kaufman, Tuesday 16:15-19:45, Terrace Building, 3th floor, Room 3042 , the  course will start on March 21 till June 6 with  workshop in the middle of the semester

Summer semester     6.7.2017-8.9.2017


  • The Evolution of War : The information and Cyber Age-Dr. Yaniv Levyatan‎, Thursday 8:30-11:45
  • Intelligence and National Security-Itai Brun, Thursday 12:15-15:45


  • The "Arab spring"-Dr. Ronit Marzan, Friday 8:30 -12:30


*The studentsrequiredto take allmandatory courses and choose one elective course.

Fall Semester

Approaches to Political Science - Seminar (Prof. Gabriel Ben-Dor) (4 credits)Syllabus

This course will present the philosophical, intellectual and methodological foundations of contemporary social science in general, and political science in particular, explaining the basis for the scientific study of politics, diplomacy, strategy and broader aspects of research on national security.

The National Security of Israel - Seminar (Dr. Dan Schueftan) (4 credits)Syllabus

This course will introduce the students to the history, evolution and present state of thinking about Israel’s national security. It will discuss the major challenges facing Israel in an unstable and inhospitable regional environment and mostly unfriendly international environment. It will explain the dilemmas facing Israel in its search for appropriate responses to the ever mutating threats in each given historical period, considering a wide variety of constraints on these responses - domestic, regional and international.

Regional Conflicts: Between War and Peace- Seminar (Prof. Benny Miller) (4 credits)Syllabus

The course will discuss the origins of regional conflicts and the sources of regional wars. We will also address the conditions for reaching regional peace. The class will examine the sources of great-power regional involvement and its effects on regional security. The seminar will also address the implications of regional conflicts for international security. During the course we will develop a theory of regional war and peace and apply it through an examination of the sources of regional war and peace in the Middle East, South America, the Third World, the Balkans and Eastern Europe and Western Europe. We will discuss which strategies are the most helpful for advancing peace in the different regions and what are the chances of promoting peace in these regions. 

Economics and National Security- Seminar (Prof. Norman Bailey-Bio)(4 credits)Syllabus
This course will explore the economic foundations of national security, including such issues as defense spending versus other social needs, economic difficulties as an obstacle for national security, economic threats to security and international economic security warfare, including sanctions, financial means of waging war and boycotts.

Political Islam - Seminar (Prof. Itzhak Weisman) (4 credits)Syllabus

The resurgence of Islam is one of the major religio-political developments in the modern Middle East. In this class we will survey and analyze various aspects of this multi-faceted phenomenon in an attempt to better understand it and more fully realize its prospects and threats. The course is divided into three parts. In the first part we discuss the foundational discourse of Islamism, from the Salafi idea of the Islamic state to Bin Laden ideology of jihad. In each part we will read from the writings of the main protagonists. The second part is devoted to prominent case studies, such as the Muslim Brothers, the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Palestinian intifada, the Saudi opposition and Islam in Europe. The last part will offer some theoretical explanations revolving around the state and civil society, social movement and networks, ideology and communication.

Theories of Diplomacy -Seminar (Prof. Ben Mor) (4 credits)Syllabus

The course will analyze the evolution of the field of public communication as a factor which has a vast impact on contemporary diplomacy. In this context, several theoretical concepts and perspectives from the fields of international relations, social psychology, rhetoric and philology will be reviewed. The course will also discuss research methods, in particular in connection with diplomatic rhetoric.

Spring Semester 

National Security: The Practitioners’ Perspective - Seminar (Dr. Dan Schueftan) (4 credits)Syllabus

This course will present the practitioners’ perspective of Israel’s national security challenges and responses, by introducing the students to high ranking Israeli officials (and possibly decision makers) who dealt with these challenges in their time and to their written testimony on these events. Some practitioners will describe their conduct at the time and present their insights, as well as engage with the lecturer and the students in a discussion that will allow for questioning of the assumptions underlying their evaluations and decisions.

Human Rights, Ethics and Diplomacy (Prof. Gad Barzilai) (4 credits)Syllabus

Human rights have become a pillar of liberal global expectations, domestic and international practices and fantasies in various countries around the world, propelled through a new sense of globalism that has emerged especially after the end of the Cold War and amid the expansion of the democratic model. This course is aimed to offer historical, theoretical and analytical capabilities to comprehend and conceptualize human rights in their various forms and to see the repercussions on international diplomacy and political ethics. On the one hand, the course invites the students to use various perspectives on human rights. On the other hand, the course is offering various insights on how the discourse of human rights affects nation-states, NGOs, civil societies, international and transnational relations and social forces.

The Middle East in World Politics (Dr. Rachel Swisa) (4 credits)

The course will evolve around the international powers and the international formal institutions and informal associations of states relevant to the subject. It will deal with the role of the major players such as the United States, the European Union, Russia and China in the Middle East. It will also deal with the involvement of organizations such as the U.N and some of the affiliated agencies and organizations such as NATO, the World Bank and the IMF.

During the course main Middle East issues such as the radicalization in the region, the collapse of the state system, economic stagnation, the role of oil, the Iranian nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be discussed

Peacekeeping Operations: A New Tool for World Order? (217.4012) - Seminar (Dr. Chen Kercher) (4 credits)Syllabus

Today, peacekeeping is the common generic term used to describe a combined international civil and military operation which aims to reduce the causes of conflict among belligerents, may they be inter- or intra-state actors, while employing a diverse spectrum of objectives in order to encourage peace. The international support for the deployment of peacekeeping operations is puzzling, especially if we take into consideration that peacekeeping operations were originally an improvisation of the United Nations during the Cold War, with limited objectives. In the past two decades there has been a continuous expansion of peacekeeping objectives, which includes enhancing democratic values, supervising government activities, demobilizing armed forces and providing humanitarian relief and economic aid.After examining the invention of peacekeeping operations in 1956, the course will be divided into two parts. The first part examines the main issues prevalent in the discourse. Every subject will be analyzed by reviewing the questions commonly raised in academic literature. The second part examines three regions in which major multidimensional peacekeeping operations were deployed. The constant examination of the actual performance of peacekeeping operations is needed in order to understand the difficulties in tailoring the right models in order to settle conflicts.

Multi-Track Diplomacy: Transforming Violent Conflict - Seminar (Prof. Edy Kaufman) (4 credits)Syllabus

The goal of this course is to develop the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate transformation of interpersonal, organizational, community or complex societal conflicts, including ethnic, religious or cultural tensions, using techniques of multi-track and citizens’ diplomacy. These techniques, applicable at all levels of society, provide an essential complement to official (“first track”) diplomacy and police work, from conflicts in the workplace or community, to dealing with political instability, terrorism or insurgent activities, as currently in our work in the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.

Summer Semester

The Evolution of War: The information and Cyber Age - Seminar (Dr. Yaniv Levyatan) (4 credits)Syllabus

The modern battlefield is more visual than ever.  Smartphones, cameras and  Cyber weapons are changing the way we do battle. The Course will examine the origins of Information Warfare during the 20th and the transformation of the modern information battle field. We’ll research basic concepts From WW1 propaganda through WW2 PSYWAR and the Vietnam war use of PSYOPS. Special emphasis will be given to Cyber War and Hackers.

Intelligence and National Security (Itai Brun) (4 credits)Syllabus

The Intelligence Community is an integral part of national security. The main objectives of Intelligence are to provide effective, timely early warning before any threat to the interests of the country may emerge, and to supply the best possible information to support Government Agencies in their operations. The Intelligence Community is comprised of various agencies (both civilian and military) that operate in close coordination in order to carry out its mission. To do so it utilizes the synergies of different units. These include a large unit for national intelligence analysis and several units for collection, as SIGINT , HUMINT, VISINT and OSINT.

The "Arab spring"Syllabus

Since the study of these social phenomena in the 21st century has evolved as a transdisciplinary field, the course will examine the relationship between authoritarian regimes, collective consciousness, family ties and emotions in the Arab uprisings that broke out in 2011.


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