• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject International Relations
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Luke Glanville
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) concept has emerged in recent years to take a central place in international deliberations about how to best ensure the protection of populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. While the concept was unanimously endorsed by states at the UN World Summit in 2005, it has not always been consistently implemented and populations continue to suffer from atrocity crimes in various parts of the world. This course seeks a deep understanding of the R2P concept, critically examining questions about the history, ethics, law, and politics of R2P and studying key cases of the threat or perpetration of mass atrocities from the last decade. It reaches beyond well-known debates about military intervention to grapple with the complexities of non-coercive as well as coercive means of protecting populations.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. To develop a critical understanding of the historical antecedents of R2P and its rapid development in recent years.
  2. To critically evaluate the contemporary ethics, law, and politics of R2P.  
  3. To understand the future directions of R2P in a changing world.
  4. To develop skills in writing and speaking to different audiences on the politics, law, and ethics of efforts to prevent mass atrocities.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Case Study, 40%. 2000 words
  2. Policy Brief, 20%. 1000 words
  3. Research Essay, 40%. 2000 words

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There will be a 2 hour seminar and 6 hours of independent study each week for 12 weeks. 

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Alex J. Bellamy, The Responsibility to Protect: A Defense (Oxford 2014)
Luke Glanville, Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History (Chicago 2014)

Assumed Knowledge

Understanding of basic concepts of International Relations.


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
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
4135 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person View

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