• Class Number 4374
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On Campus
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Adam Henschke
    • Dr Adam Henschke
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

As Australia faces security challenges ranging from terrorism to cybersecurity to interstate rivalries and climate change, discussions around national security will continue to play across our community, in the media and in policymaking. This course examines the ethical norms that both underpin and limit national security. It has a particular focus on the way that the relationships between those ethical norms pose challenges for national security policy and practice. It explores how, and the extent to which, ethical considerations can and should influence decisions about national security. This course brings together expert and practitioner perspectives to facilitate analysis of some of the most pressing and controversial concerns regarding the ethics of national security choices in the 21st century.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand concepts related to ethical issues arising in the context of national security
  2. Evaluate contemporary ethical challenges relating to current and future security challenges facing Australian policymakers
  3. Critically analyse, from an ethical lens, the responsiveness of security agencies to the security challenges Australia faces today, as a potential guide to its future national security responses
  4. Conduct independent research that demonstrates both scholarly and policy-focused engagement with the subject matter

There is no single set text for this course. All essential reading will be available as PDFs in Wattle. The following are indicative texts

Chris Michaelsen, (2010) ‘Australia and the Threat of Terrorism in the Decade after 9/11' Asian Journal of Political Science, 18:3, 248-268,

DOI: 10.1080/02185377.2010.527212

Richard Shapcott, (2014) 'International Ethics', in Baylis, Smith and Owens (eds), The Globalization Of World Politics, Oxford: Oxford.

Hugh Lafollette, (2014) 'Theorizing About Ethics', in Lafollette (ed), Ethics In Practice: An Anthology 4th Edn, Wiley, 4-10.

David Rodin, (2014) 'The Myth Of National Self-Defence', in Fabre and Lazar (eds), Oxford, Oxford, 69-89

Skinner, Quentin. "A genealogy of the modern state." Proceedings of the British Academy. Vol. 162. 2009.

Vincent, Andrew. "The Nature Of The State", from Theories of the State. Basil Blackwell, 1987, pp. 1-44.

McSweeney, Bill., 'The Meaning of Security' and 'Identity Versus The State', in Security, Identity And Interests, Cambridge, 1999, pp 13 - 22, 68-78.

Herrington, Jon, 'The Concept of Security' in Selgelid and Enemark, Ethics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control, Ashgate, 2012.

Buzan, Barry, Waever, Ole, de Wilde, Jaap, 'Security Analysis: Conceptual Apparatus' Buzan, Waever and de Wilde, Security: New Framework of Analysis,

Lynne-Renner, pp. 21- 47

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 Topic 1: What is National Security And Why Does It Matter?
2 Topic 2: On Ethics: Facts vs. Values
3 Topic 3: On Nations: Conceptualising The State
4 Topic 4: On Security: Thinking About Security
5 Topic 5: Globalisation And Globalism: Decline Of The State And The Rise Of Non-State Actors
6 Topic 6: Monopolies Of Power And Violence: Force And The State
7 Topic 7: Knowledge Is Power: Intelligence Organs And Democracy
8 Topic 8: Freedom And Its Limits: Speech And Technology
9 Topic 9: Required To Do Wrong: Dirty Hands
10 Topic 10: Changing Threats: Ethics And Counterterrorism
11 Topic 11: Changing Force: Converging Technologies And New Spaces
12 Topic 12: Changing Worlds: Global And Local Challenges To State Based National Security

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short Essay 20 % 09/04/2021 23/04/2021 1,2
Research Essay 50 % 28/05/2021 23/06/2021 2,3,4
Exam 20 % * * 1,2,4
Class Participation 10 % * *

* 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: 20 %
Due Date: 09/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Short Essay

Length, 1000 words (10% + or - but no less than 900)

Weighting: 20%

You will critically evaluate an article that looks at natioanl security and related policies, provided in week one, and offer a critique on it with reference to either ethics, the state or security

The purpose of this assessment task is to critically examine – clearly and briefly – what a given author/paper is saying, and to demonstrate your ability to apply one of the conceptual frames discussed in weeks 2, 3, or 4, to the given article and the broader discusisons about ethics and national security policy. The short essay is an opportunity to develop your writing skills and receive feedback from the Convenor prior to undertaking the longer Research Essay.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 28/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 23/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research Essay

Length: 3,000 Words (10% + or - but no less than 2,700)

Weighting 50%

You will answer one (1) question from a list supplied early in the course, (or a topic developed in discussion with the lecturer). The Research Essay assessment task is an opportunity for you to: initiate and conduct research using library, electronic and other resources. This will allow you to:

  • demonstrate your familiarity with information and ideas at the frontiers of knowledge regarding the ethics and national security policy
  • demonstrate your ability to think critically and advance a logical, structured argument
  • demonstrate your ability to write succinctly in an academic style that conforms to conventions on proper referencing

Take time to get a good understanding of what the essay question requires, and think about how you might structure your argument in answer to the question. In conducting your research, be sure to identify and concentrate on only those issues which are directly relevant to the essay question. The purpose of the essay is not to survey a general topic but rather to answer a deliberately worded, specific question. Ensure that your argument in answer to the question is supported by carefully selected, reliable evidence and that the source of evidence is properly referenced. In the introduction to your essay (which should be the last section you write) it is a good idea to include an explanation of what you understand the question requires of you and how you propose to answer it.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4


Weighting 20%

This will be an examination covering the range of topics over the full course, the final date and location TBD

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 

Class Participation

This assesment item is being utilitised to aid in remote/distance delivery. You will be assessed by reference to your access to online lectures and your participation in online tutorials.

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

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 Adam Henschke

Research Interests

Dr Adam Henschke

By Appointment
Dr Adam Henschke

Research Interests

Dr Adam Henschke

By Appointment

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