• Class Number 7924
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Garth Pratten
    • Dr Garth Pratten
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

The course places contemporary insurgencies (in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan) in a strong historical framework by examining earlier examples of internal conflict from North America to Southeast and South Asia. It will also encourage students to evaluate contemporary counter-insurgency practice, including those campaigns being waged as part of the attempt to defeat transnational terrorism, against the backdrop of the evolution of counterinsurgency strategies.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the content and context of historical theories of insurgency and counter-insurgency;
  2. Analyse the conduct of counter-insurgency operations and identify the role in which factors such as command, geography, technology, tactics, external support/interference, popular support play in determining their outcome;
  3. Conduct historical research and critically evaluate historical evidence; and
  4. Express themselves clearly, eloquently, and persuasively in a variety of formats.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

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 Theories of Insurgency
2 Approaches: Population control
3 Approaches: La Guerre Revolutionnaire
4 Approaches: Foreign internal defence
5 Key case studies: Vietnam
6 Key case studies: Northern Ireland
7 Approaches: Make a desert, [and] they call it peace
8 Insurgency and Counter-insurgency in contemporary South East Asia I: The Philippines
9 Insurgency and Counter-insurgency in contemporary South Asia II: Indonesia
10 Insurgency and Counter-insurgency in contemporary South East Asia III: Thailand
11 Key case studies: Iraq
12 Beyond counterinsurgency

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Research Essay 30 % 05/10/2020 26/10/2020 2,3,4
Group presentation 30 % 29/08/2020 21/09/2020 2,4
Exam 30 % * * 1,2
Contribution to Peer Learning 10 % 03/12/2020 03/12/2020 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 Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

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: 30 %
Due Date: 05/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 26/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research Essay

Students will write a 3,000 word research essay on one of a choice of ten questions, which will be posted on the course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 29/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 21/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,4

Group presentation

As part of a group of their peers, students will be required to deliver a presentation on a colonial era 'small wars' case study.

Groups will be formed and case studies allocated in Session 1 (30 July). The presentations will be made at a special Small Wars seminar day on Saturday 10 October.

This presentation will be approximately half an hour long, with an additional ten minutes allocated to questions from the rest of the class. This activity has two aims. The first is to develop a range of practical skills including the ability to work in a collaborative environment; research and analyse a complex topic; and present the results orally and visually in a clear and concise manner. The second aim is expose students to a further range of case studies to further deepen their ability to make informed judgements about the relationship between colonial antecedents and modern counter-insurgency theory and practice.

Information presented in the case studies will not be examined but may be used in response to exam essay questions.

Each presentation should seek to address the following focus questions:

  • What were insurgents' aims (remembering there may be multiple insurgent groups)?
  • What strategy and tactics did the insurgents employ, and how did these evolve?
  • What strategy and tactics did the counter-insurgents employ, and how did these evolve?
  • How did the actions of the insurgents and counter-insurgents shape the direction and outcome of the campaign?
  • What is the legacy of the campaign for our contemporary understanding of counter-insurgency theory and practice?

Although a group exercise, an individual mark will be awarded to each student, which will be determined on the following basis:

  • 20% peer assessment - awarded to all group members
  • 50% content - awarded to all group members
  • 10% presentation coherence - awarded to all group members
  • 20% presentation skills - awarded individually to each member of the group

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2


There will be a final examination at the conclusion of the course which is intended to test both students' foundation knowledge and their ability to apply it. It will consist of a short answer section (Part A) focusing on theories of insurgency and counter-insurgency, and two short essays: one on a specific case study (Part B), and one reflecting on the course as a whole (Part C).

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 03/12/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 4

Contribution to Peer Learning

Classroom discussion is central to the teaching style of this course. Masters-level students are expected to engage with the material presented by the convenor, in the readings, and by their peers. Students should thus ensure they have prepared for each session. A mark will be awarded to recognise students’ contributions in class. Students will be assessed on their level of preparedness and participation for each activity, the clarity and relevance of their contribution, and their collaboration with and consideration of their peers.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community 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 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 University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

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

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR 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 Garth Pratten
6125 6503

Research Interests

Military operations; Second World War; command; military identity, motivation and cohesion; employment of reserve forces

Dr Garth Pratten

By Appointment
Dr Garth Pratten
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Garth Pratten

By Appointment

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