• Offered by ANU National Security College
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject National Security Policy
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Political Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Timothy Legrand
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

How should government respond to security crises? The modern era is frequently punctuated by crises emanating from the natural and social worlds that threaten local, national and even international security. Just in the past decade, the world has witnessed the catastrophic damage caused by natural disasters: Hurricane Katrina, the South-East Asia tsunami, the Queensland flooding, the Pakistan Earthquake, and the Japan tsunami and nuclear disaster. A host of transnational threats are also emerging: the rise of international terrorism and the fears provoked by Australians fighting for Jihadist groups in the Middle East; the spectre of cyber-attacks by belligerent states and politically-motivated groups; climate change and the prospect of resource shortages.  These extreme events and growing threats make up a global landscape of complexity and uncertainty and, against this unedifying backdrop, it is the responsibility of the government to develop strategies to anticipate, mitigate and respond to the next crisis facing Australia, whatever that may be. 

This course considers this backdrop of threats alongside changing notions of ‘threat’, ‘risk’ and ‘crisis’ in the context of Australian national security planning. It challenges participants to determine how policymaking can reconcile the competing imperatives of national security and the public interest in the midst of crisis. Participants are expected to critically evaluate the prevailing logics of national security and develop their own perspective on the possibility of effective strategy planning in crises. 

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Understand the key theoretical concepts of crisis management and the landscape of Australian political institutions, laws and policies that deliver national security outcomes
2. Critically evaluate the prevailing rationales that underpin crisis management strategies in Australia’s state and federal governments
3. Develop new perspectives on (i) conceptualising risks and threats to national security and (ii) operationalising government’s strategic responses
4. A developed capacity to employ effective writing, communication, and analytical skills in the assessment of the theories and practices of National Security Crises Management

Indicative Assessment

1,000 word conceptual note (20%)
4,000 word paper (40%)
End of semester exam (40%)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One two-hour seminar per week (over 12 weeks) plus a one-hour weekly tutorial with the expectation of a further seven hours per week of independent study

Preliminary Reading

Boin, A. and Ekengren, M. 2009. Preparing for the World Risk Society: Towards a New Security Paradigm for the European Union. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 17(4), 285-294.

Brändström, A., Bynander, F., & t’Hart, P. 2004. Governing by Looking Back: Historical Analogies and Crisis Management. Public Administration, 82(1), 191–210.

Lagadec, P.  2009. A New Cosmology of Risks and Crises: Time for a Radical Shift in Paradigm and Practice. Review of Policy Research, 26, 473–486.

Rosenthal, U. 2003. September 11: Public Administration and the Study of Crises and Crisis Management. Administration & Society. 35(2), 129-143.

Williams, S. (2009). Rethinking the Nature of Disaster: From Failed Instruments of Learning to a Post-Social Understanding. Social Forces, 87(2), 1115–1138.

Alexander, D. 2005. Towards the Development of a Standard in Emergency Planning. Disaster Prevention and Management, 14(2), 158-175.

Tierney, Kathleen. "Disaster governance: social, political, and economic dimensions." Annual Review of Environment and Resources 37 (2012): 341-363.

Wukich, Clayton. "Searching for resilience." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 23.4 (2013): 1013-1019.

Kuhlicke, Christian. "Resilience: a capacity and a myth: findings from an in-depth case study in disaster management research." Natural hazards 67.1 (2013): 61-76.

Boin, Arjen, and Allan McConnell. "Preparing for critical infrastructure breakdowns: the limits of crisis management and the need for resilience."Journal of Contingencies and Crisis
Management 15.1 (2007): 50-59.

Brechbühl , Bruce, Dynes and Johnson. "Protecting Critical Information Infrastructure: Developing Cybersecurity Policy." Information Technology for Development.
16. 1, (2010): 83-91.


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
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3938 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions