• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject International Relations
  • Areas of interest International Relations
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Humanitarianism is a prominent powerful, though often vexed issue in world politics. Debate on the role of humanitarianism in world politics often vacillates between belief in its capacity to transform the international system and frustration and disillusionment with its perceived failure to do so. In examining the role of humanitarianism in world politics, this course seeks to disaggregate these debates, revealing key themes, trends and questions in the evolution of the concepts and practices of humanitarianism. Central amongst these are the themes of assistance and protection that are often viewed as at the very heart of humanitarianism, along with advocacy and evidence. In doing this, the course looks at the historical evolution and global diffusion of humanitarian concepts and practices, the concepts and practices of both international humanitarian assistance and humanitarian intervention, and finally the extent to which conceptions of humanitarian obligations have come to underpin state building projects.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate both practical and theoretical insight into the evolution of contemporary discourses and practices of humanitarianism
  2. Understand the formulation, implementation and subsequent assessment of international humanitarian assistance
  3. Analyse the fundamental problems of how, who, when, and where to provide humanitarian assistance in world politics
  4. Critically examine the development of both the norms and practices of humanitarian intervention, placing these in the context of broader debates about sovereignty and protection in world politics

Other Information

The course is conducted through seminars with an emphasis on interactive teaching aimed at engaging all students in active participation.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Please note that this assessment is indicative only. The actual assessment for the course is provided in the Class Summary prior to the commencement of the semester in which the course is being conducted and may differ from this assessment. (null) [LO null]
  2. Participation, presentation and reading summary (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Research Essay Plan (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Research Essay (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  5. Review (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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Approximately 130 hours comprising seminars as well as associated preparation, independent study, and assessment time.

Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

To be advised.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
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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