• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences, Security Studies, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Vasileios Kappis
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Why do some regions of the world enjoy lasting peace and security, while others are plagued by conflict?  This course will explore a potential answer to that question:  security communities, or groupings of states in which a large-scale use of violence (such as war) has become very unlikely or even unthinkable.  The course will investigate the theoretical basis for security communities, examine current security communities such as Europe and North America, and debate the possibilities for security communities in regions such as Africa and South America.  Finally, the course will examine the policy possibilities that spring from the concept of security communities:  are there actionable policies that we can use to promote the assurance of peaceful dispute resolution between states?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Analyse initial and contemporary theorizing about the concept of security communities

2.  Evaluate evidence for the existence of Western security communities

3.  Dissect debates about the possibilities for security communities in non-Western societies 

4.  Make informed arguments about the best ways to use policy to promote security communities around the world


Indicative Assessment

Theoretical Discussion Paper (10%) (500 words) (LO 1)

Major Essay (40%) (2000 words) (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)

Reading Analysis (10%) (500 words) (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)

Final Exam (40%) (multiple choice) (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)


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Students are expected to spend approximately 10 hours a week on this course, participating in a weekly 3-hour course workshop (lecture and discussion), working through the reading program, and completing the assessment tasks. The total workload over the semester is 130 hours.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed POLS1005 or POLS1006; or permission of the convenor

Prescribed Texts

Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett, Security Communities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Assumed Knowledge

Understanding of international relations theory.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3304 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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