Norwegian Business Students Explore Security Challenges in Europe

April 12, 2017

One of the interesting courses that SPP’s Global Policy Academy has offered in recent years is a series of seminars for executive students from the BI Norwegian Business School. These courses are part of the master’s degree program that the BI Norwegian Business School has developed in cooperation with the Norwegian Armed Forces.  The program is structured to provide students – most of whom have backgrounds in the police or military – with a more nuanced understanding of the nature and complexity of security conflicts. “The focus of the courses we organized this year was security studies, including energy security, geopolitics, and the crisis in the Ukraine,” explained course director and SPP Professor Nick Sitter.

One of the themes of the three-day course was the way in which security studies has been “stretched” in recent years to include areas such as the environment and energy. Paul Roe of the CEU Department of International Relations explained these developments in security research. Energy was the topic of several presentations, including one by Sitter and Andreas Goldthau that explored the complexity of the issue especially as it relates to Russia. They described Russia as “an economic power, but not an economic might” noting that it “can create disorder [as it is doing in Syria], but not order.” They also explored the nature of soft power, noting that this was an area in which Russia was especially weak.