• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Strategic Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

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 120 hours.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Students cannot complete this course if they have already completed POLS2131.

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
2018 $3420
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4860
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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