• 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

Please note in summer 2019 the course has been capped. Reading / Prep commences 4th February Classes to be held 11th -15th February

This course will be occasionally scheduled to offer one-off opportunities to study under visiting experts, or to showcase a new teaching area. Information on the particular topic offered under this course will be outlined in the ‘Other Information’ section, including topic title, the topic convenor, and an indication of workload and indicative assessment.Students are invited to undertake a special topic course in Asia-Pacific Security. This topic will be delivered by international experts in security studies in the Asia-Pacific and will allow students to investigate security issues not covered in-depth in their core studies. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the major issues in, and concepts associated with the special topic area;
  2. Evaluate and confidently apply these concepts;
  3. Critically evaluate approaches to the study of the special topic area;
  4. Demonstrate effective communication skills.

Other Information

This course is capped.

International security is often characterised as a realm dominated by power & self-interest, with little room for morality. This perspective misses the vital role ethics play in shaping how we think & act. Underpinning security practices are assumptions about which people & what things should be secured. How it is determined who & what should be protected are not objective or neutral, but influenced by beliefs & values. This points to the way that ethics & security are closely connected. In this course students will explore this relationship by considering the ethical dilemmas present across major traditional & non-traditional security concerns. Some questions students will grapple with include: do our obligations towards others extend beyond state borders? Are nuclear weapons unethical because of the tremendous damage they can cause, or should they be valued for the restraint they encourage? Do we have any connection to people in extreme poverty in other parts of the world? Do states have an obligation to take care of refugees from wars they have no involvement in? Do technological changes create new problems for regulating & managing conflict? In considering issues such as these, students reflect on how the world is, how the world ought to be, and how to reconcile the gap between the two.


Learning Outcomes

  • Gained an understanding of how morality connects to security;
  • Developed an awareness of key ethical problems in world politics;
  • Considered what responsibilities people and communities have towards one another;
  • Reflected on the relationship between ‘is’ and ‘ought’ in politics;
  • Improved their research and analytical skills.



In-class reflective exercises-4 x 15%

End of each day (except Fri), students to discuss major themes & issues raised that day. Students then write a brief response (1 page) to a question related to the day's topics.

Take-home exam-30%

Topics given out Fri 15 Feb. Due Thurs 21 Feb

Class Participation 10%

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assessment will differ from topic to topic and will be detailed in the class summary. (100) [LO 1,2,3,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


36 contact hours per semester.

A 2-hour lecture session per week for 12 weeks, a 1-hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course, you must have successfully completed 24 units of university courses.

Prescribed Texts

Electronic copies of chosen readings will be provided to each student.


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
2020 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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