- Code NSPO8013
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by ANU National Security College
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject National Security Policy
- Areas of interest International Relations, Policy Studies, Political Sciences, Medicine, Science
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
This course assesses the political and security significance of infectious diseases and biological weapons. Whether one contemplates historical experiences with smallpox, plague and cholera, or the contemporary challenges posed by new diseases like HIV/AIDS and SARS, it is clear that pathogenic micro-organisms exercise a powerful influence over civilized humankind. The course concentrates on areas in which human health and security concerns intersect most closely, including: the threat posed by biological weapons; responses to fast-moving disease outbreaks of natural origin; security-oriented ethics for biological scientists; and the relationships between infectious disease patterns, public health capacity, state functioning and violent conflict. The overall aim of the course is to provide students with a stronger understanding of the scientific and political nature of these problems, why and how they might threaten security, and the conceptual and empirical connections between them. Course activities and assessment tasks are designed to encourage critical thinking and intellectual autonomy.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of disease-related security and policy issues, drawing on the fields of international relations, strategic studies, political science, ethics, law, biology and public health.
2. Conduct research in archives, libraries, and using internet resources.
3. Communicate effectively in verbal, written and group contexts to a professional standard.
4. Demonstrate a capacity for critical reflection so that the assumptions underpinning security concepts and policies can be effectively scrutinized.
5. Formulate, analyse and evaluate security policy options in relation to disease-related security challenges.
6. Exercise attention to detail and analytical rigour in academic writing.
1,500 word policy brief (40%)
3,500 word essay (50%)
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One 2-hour seminar per week (over 13 weeks) with the expectation of a further 8 hours per week of independent study.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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