• Class Number 6962
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Paul Hutchcroft
    • Prof Paul Hutchcroft
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This class will give students a look into the murky and ambivalent relationship between violence and political order, from the historical origins of the state to the violent breakdown of political order today. Most theories of political order begin with the perspective that state institutions set limits on the legitimate use of violence and so control the violent tendencies of an anarchic society. Yet state building is itself a deeply violent process. Moreover the state continues to be a prolific user of violence. Aside from the obvious case of war between states, both democratic and authoritarian states engage in varying levels of everyday violence. In some cases, this violence is perceived as legitimate, as in the use of imprisonment as a punishment for criminal activity. In other cases, states transgress norms of legitimate violence, engaging in activities such as torture, sexual violence, and even ethnic cleansing. This course will cover topics including state building, torture, civil war, and crime and punishment. We will read work from political science, political economy, political sociology and political theory. This is a reading intensive seminar.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand different empirical and theoretical approaches to the analysis violence and political order.
  2. Develop appropriate conceptual, theoretical, and empirical research methods from political science, political sociology, and political theory.
  3. Compare and analyze variation in types of political violence.
  4. Apply the principals of good research design in developing their own research.
  5. Communicate knowledgeably on range of topics within the area of violence and political order.

Students may wish to purchase certain books after reviewing the course reading list.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 28 July: The Formation of the Earliest States class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
2 4 August: The Rise and Decline of Imperial States class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
3 11 August: Early Modern European State Formation class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
4 18 August: The Emergence of the Modern State class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
5 25 August: Institutions, Violence, and Political Order class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
6 1 September: Colonial State Formation class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
7 22 September: Decolonization and Colonial Legacies class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
8 29 September: State Legibility, State Avoidance, State Eligibility class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
9 6 October: Territorial Dimensions of the State class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
10 13 October: Wars, Militaries, and States class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
11 20 October: State Power and Social Forces class participation and written 'discussion contributions'
12 27 October: Civil Wars, Insurgencies, and Secessionist Conflict: Analysing Processes of State Disintegration/Reintegration and the Formation of Proto-States and New States class participation and written 'discussion contributions'

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Critical seminar discussion 10 % 27/10/2021 05/11/2021 1, 2, 3, 5
Weekly Wattle Forum Discussion Contributions 10 % 26/10/2021 05/11/2021 1, 2, 3
Seminar presentation 10 % 27/10/2021 05/11/2021 1, 2, 3, 5
Mid-term Essay 25 % 20/09/2021 11/10/2021 1, 2, 3, 5
Final Essay 45 % 15/11/2021 03/12/2021 1,2,3,4,5

* 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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


See above. If a student expects to be absent due to illness or emergency, he or she should (whenever practicable) email the convenor prior to the seminar.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 27/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 05/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5

Critical seminar discussion

10% of total grade. Students are expected to attend all seminar sessions and actively participate in seminar discussions with consistent and intelligent contributions. If a student expects to be absent due to illness or emergency, he or she should (whenever practicable) email the convenor prior to the seminar.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 26/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 05/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Weekly Wattle Forum Discussion Contributions

10% of total grade. Students will be required to submit brief comments on readings for ten of the twelve weeks of the semester. They should be roughly 200 words in length, and will be marked on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory scale. Should a student submit fewer than ten comments, a mark of zero will be given for each missing assignment.


The discussion contributions are to be turned in by 9:00 pm on the Tuesday evening prior to the Wednesday seminar, and late submissions will be recorded with potential impact on the final assessment score for this portion of the course grade. They should be submitted via Wattle, and thus be available for all participants to read. Submissions after Wednesday morning at 11 am will not be accepted. Please note further that you should not submit a contribution for the week in which you are providing a seminar presentation.


Your contributions will examine the assigned readings for the week, and there are a range of directions in which your contributions can go. You can pose questions for discussion, highlight salient quotes, draw parallels with readings in other weeks, note particular strengths/weaknesses of an argument, etc. This should be viewed as a “rapid response” exercise rather than as a polished piece of work, providing some quick reflections in advance of the weekly seminar.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 27/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 05/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5

Seminar presentation

10% of total grade. Each student will make one 10-12 minute presentation to open up a seminar. These presentations should examine major issues and arguments found in the readings, and raise important questions for discussion—focusing more on the forest than the trees. In preparing presentations, students are expected to concentrate primarily on the assigned readings, but are of course welcome to supplement their analysis with the recommended readings and other relevant works.


Your task is not to summarize the readings, but rather to examine critically and comparatively some aspect of the author or authors' arguments, evidence, conclusion, theoretical contribution and/or interpretation. Some of the questions you might examine are: How does the analysis relate to other analyses assigned either for the same week or for previous weeks? What is the main argument of the author or authors? What evidence is brought to bear? Are you convinced by the conclusion? What do you see as particular strengths and weaknesses of the argument, or gaps that deserve further attention? What alternative explanations or interpretations might you find convincing? What interesting comparative insights come forth, and how applicable do you find them either in cross-national or cross-temporal terms? What are the key theoretical contributions that the author or authors are trying to make, and do they succeed? If the author were to join our seminar (even if this were to require coming back from the grave), what key question or questions might you want to pose to him or her?


These questions are intended to provide a sense of the many diverse ways in which you might structure your presentation, and you will of course need to choose a focus that is readily tractable within the time limits noted above.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 20/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 11/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5

Mid-term Essay

1750 words, 25% of total grade. The questions for the first essay will be distributed on Monday 6 September and be due on Monday 20 September. It will cover the readings and discussion in the first six weeks of the semester.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 15/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Essay

3000 words, 45% of total grade. The questions for the second essay will be distributed on Friday 5 November and be due on Monday 15 November. It will cover the readings and discussion across the entire semester.

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

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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).

Prof Paul Hutchcroft
6125 3207

Research Interests

Prof Paul Hutchcroft

Monday 13:00 15:00
Monday 13:00 15:00
Prof Paul Hutchcroft

Research Interests

Prof Paul Hutchcroft

Monday 13:00 15:00
Monday 13:00 15:00

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