This course deals with tension between two basic principles which constitute the basic foundations of every democratic state. On the one hand, the liberal democratic state is required, by definition, to protect the basic principles of the rule of law and human rights. On the other hand, in times of war or under external or internal threat, the exigencies of security are deemed ultimate considerations, even if this requires the government to suspend certain human rights. Such decisions are to be taken, in theory, by elected institutions and be subject to public control and audit. We will ask who is making decisions in security matters, who is informed of the decisions, what social goals are advanced under the name of national security, what are the methods and techniques of civil control on national security? Analysis of the Israeli case is at center of this course, with comparative observations on western democracies, the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and others.