• Class Number 9703
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Eglantine Raux ep Staunton
    • Dr Eglantine Raux ep Staunton
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

When large-scale human suffering occurs, does the international community have a responsibility to assist? Who exactly should take action? What principles should guide these actors? What is the role of law and politics in humanitarian action? This course examines international responses to human suffering caused by armed conflict, mass atrocities and complex humanitarian disasters to address these questions. We look at the history and development of law and institutions that shape contemporary international humanitarian action. We consider the changing global security context in which humanitarian action takes place, and examine the actors involved in humanitarian action, from non-state, to state and multilateral actors. The course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the concepts, politics and practice of humanitarianism, and with skills to analyse current trends and developments in this important area of international politics.  

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the key conceptual, theoretical and and political debates relevant to humanitarianism as a field of study and practice.
  2. A deep knowledge of the historical evolution of the legal frameworks and organizations that shape contemporary humanitarian practice.
  3. Ability to apply various theoretical and analytical approaches to important humanitarian issues in global politics.
  4. Strong ability to communicate ideas and arguments related to the subject matter effectively through written and verbal expression.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the concept of humanitarianism
2 Humanitarianism: A brief history
3 International and regional organisations and humanitarian action
4 The role of Non-Governmental Organisations
5 The media and humanitarianism
6 International intervention and the use of force
7 Humanitarian crisis workshop
8 Regulating humanitarianism: International law and institutions
9 Gender, peace and security
10 Forced displacement within and beyond borders
11 Peacebuilding, statebuilding and nationbuilding
12 Group presentations and conclusion

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Seminar presentation and participation 10 % 22/07/2019 25/10/2019 1,4
Case study essay 25 % 29/08/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3,4
Policy brief (group project) 30 % 22/10/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3,4
Research essay 35 % 04/11/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Seminar presentation and participation

Each week, one student will do a presentation on one of the mandatory readings of the course (the allocation of readings will take place during the first seminar). Your presentation should not be longer than 5 min and should provide a summary of the key themes and/or arguments of the reading, and briefly assess its strengths and weaknesses. The objective of this exercise is to allow you to engage thoroughly and critically with course materials. It will assist you in developing your skills in analysing and synthesizing materials, while enhancing your capacity to communicate complex ideas concisely and clearly. I strongly encourage you to post a copy or summary of your presentation on the course forum (on Wattle). This will provide a collective resource of commentaries on the core readings for the class as a whole, and give you an opportunity to discuss your interpretations of the course readings.

Additionally, you will be expected to participate to the seminar discussion every week, drawing from the readings. The aim is to help develop your confidence and oratory skills, while ensuring that the seminars are collaborative, lively and engaging. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 29/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Case study essay

In this 1,000 word essay, you will be required to analyse a particular humanitarian crisis or emergency of your choice. Your analysis should provide a clear overview of the nature and fundamental causes of the crisis, along with an evaluation of the nature and effectiveness of the international community’s response. The purpose of this essay is to help you develop your research and academic writing skills, demonstrate comprehension of some of the key concepts and issues related to humanitarianism, while gaining knowledge of a specific crisis.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 22/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Policy brief (group project)

For this group project, you will get the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of someone working for one of the agencies/organizations we have studied throughout the semester (an NGO, the UNHCR, the media etc.). You will be given the scenario of a hypothetical humanitarian emergency and with your team, you will put together a detailed policy brief to explain to other key actors what you are planning to do and how. Your brief will concisely introduce your organisation’s aims, recommend a detailed and adequate engagement strategy in light of your specific organisation’s role and mission, emphasise potential challenges, and suggest ways to address and overcome them. Your team’s brief should be maximum 3,500 words. Your team will present a 15 minute synopsis of your brief during the last seminar of the Semester. More details about the scenario and the group allocation will be given during the Semester and a planning session will take place in Week 7. This assessment will allow you to demonstrate your capacity to not only assimilate and evaluate the information and ideas presented in class and in the readings, but also to apply these to a particular case study. Additionally, it will develop your capacity to work with a team, and to clearly and effectively communicate ideas to various audiences. 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 04/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research essay

In this 2,000 word essay, you will explore some of the key challenges and dilemmas faced by contemporary humanitarianism. Your essay must be analytical in nature and integrate knowledge derived from the seminars, assigned readings and additional research. When possible, you should briefly use relevant case studies to illustrate your argument. In addition to allowing you to explore some of the empirical aspects of humanitarianism in detail, the aim of the research essay is to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your scholarship, your capacity to pursue guided independent research and to assimilate and evaluate material presented in your readings and during seminars. It further allows you to develop your skills in constructing and substantiating a position on particular issues.

A list of questions will be posted on the course Wattle site.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Eglantine Raux ep Staunton

Research Interests

Dr Eglantine Raux ep Staunton

Friday 10:00 11:00
Dr Eglantine Raux ep Staunton

Research Interests

Dr Eglantine Raux ep Staunton

Friday 10:00 11:00

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