Security, Safety & Justice (LD)

Contents of this minor

How do we protect our society against terrorism? Can we secure the complex world of cyberspace? Are self-driving cars safe enough? Who is responsible if something goes wrong? How do we balance surveillance and privacy?

The media pays attention to these questions with regard to safety, security and justice every day, so it is not surprising the topic deserves academic attention as well. This minor will provide you with the basic academic knowledge to understand the background of these questions better. The emphasis in the minor lies on the security element. The minor SSJ enables you to broaden your horizon regarding security-related topics in society.

The knowledge base that this minor offers to analyse security-related topics is multidisciplinary, and centres around three broad academic themes, which are connected to specific academic fields:

  • Security
  • Safety
  • Justice

Security covers a broad range of research fields encompassing criminology, antiterrorism studies, and security management; the safety theme contributes via insights from risk management; and justice provides important concepts from legal studies, history and philosophy. Knowledge of essential concepts from all of these fields is necessary to understand and analyse today’s security and safety issues. This unique blend of knowledge from social and technical sciences allows students of the minor SSJ to address and analyse current-day security-related topics. To provide this broad spectrum of knowledge to students TU Delft and Leiden University set up a cooperation. Leiden University primarily contributes with knowledge from the fields of public administration and legal and antiterrorism studies. TU Delft contributes in the areas of risk analysis and risk management, technology assessment, and system analyses.

What do you learn?

The minor SSJ gives insight into security issues you read about in the newspaper: terrorist threats, criminality, integrated security and stability. Basic knowledge and research techniques are acquired centered around three themes: security, safety, and justice.

The insights and analyses are applied to current topics, for example in the transport sector, critical infrastructure, and cyber security.

After completion of the minor, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize safety, security and justice aspects in contemporary issues, and be able to synthesize scientific arguments for their presence.
  2. Form an opinion on SSJ issues, which is grounded in scientific analysis and argumentation. 
  3. Apply basic analytical techniques to contemporary SSJ issues. These techniques include: system analysis, risk analysis and perpetrator analysis.
  4. Assess the value of scientific publications and use them in the analysis of SSJ issues, and be able to find publications that give deeper insight in these contemporary issues. 
  5. Recognize the role that SSJ issues have in their own study major, describe this role and explain it to others.

More information

For your questions about registration at TU Delft: minors@tudelft.nl.

For your questions about registration at Leiden University: ssj@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.

K.L.L. van Nunen (TU Delft)

Dr. A. Bartolucci (Leiden University)

Minor code: WM-Mi-099
Language: English
Access: All
Maximum number of participants 60

Overview subjects

The minor consists of 6 courses of 5 ECTS each and takes place during the first semester. The semester is divided into two blocks of eight weeks each. In every block, three courses are taught.

The courses:

  • Topics of Law & Security (Leiden University)
  • Researching Crisis and Security Management (Leiden University)
  • Security & Organisation (TU Delft)
  • Security & Technology (TU Delft)
  • Terrorism & Counterterrorism (Leiden University)
  • Security Integration Project (TU Delft)

The central theme in the minor is the prevention of harm caused by uncertain events (incidents). In our complex society, many things can go wrong, and specific groups in society have often gone to great lengths to make such events less likely or less catastrophic and knowledge about risk management has emerged. Think for example about aviation safety and security. Knowledge can be gained from these domains to understand how security problems can be approached. In other domains, safety and security issues and particularly potential protective mechanisms are still heavily debated. For instance, is the police allowed to hack criminals? The minor covers both incidents caused unintentionally (safety, such as accidents) and incidents caused intentionally (security, such as terrorist attacks). The question is not only how such harm can be prevented (such as by reducing the number of incidents or their impact), but also what side-effects such measures may have, and under which conditions these measures are acceptable or not.

The minor covers the following lenses from which SSJ can be studied:

  • Risk management. The Security & Organisation course provides a (mathematical) framework for reasoning about probabilities, frequencies, impact etc. of events (together known as risk), methods for assessing risk, and psychological views plus a management cycle for dealing with such events in organisations.
  • Research methods. The Researching Crisis and Security Management and Security Integration Project courses cover available methods for scientific study of safety and security issues and associated dilemmas, in terms of for example small numbers of events and secrecy.
  • Law. The Law & Security course investigates the relation between law and security, in particular the tension between security (preventing crimes) and basic human rights.
  • Social sciences. The Terrorism & Counterterrorism course zooms in on terrorists and their motives and behaviour as a source of risk, and how counterterrorism can help reduce the success of attacks.
  • Ethics / Science and Technology Studies. The Security & Technology course focuses on the role of technological developments in safety and security, in particular the assessment of potential safety and security issues of new technologies.

The different perspectives are integrated in the Security Integration Project.

For whom?

The minor is multidisciplinary in nature, and is taught by lecturers from both the Faculty of Governance & Global Affairs at Campus The Hague, and from the Faculty of Technology, Policy & Management of TU Delft. The courses take place in The Hague and Delft, respectively. When admitting students, priority will be given to bachelor students from Leiden University, TU Delft and a limited number of students from Erasmus University Rotterdam. If there are still places available, students from other universities will also be admitted. The minor enables students to broaden their horizon, working together on security-related topics with colleagues from other universities.