• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asia Pacific Affairs
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Nikolay Murashkin
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

When large-scale human suffering occurs, does the international community have a responsibility to assist? Who exactly should take action? What principles should guide these actors? What is the role of law and politics in humanitarian action? This course examines international responses to human suffering caused by armed conflict, mass atrocities and complex humanitarian disasters to address these questions. We look at the history and development of law and institutions that shape contemporary international humanitarian action. We consider the changing global security context in which humanitarian action takes place, and examine the actors involved in humanitarian action, from non-state, to state and multilateral actors. The course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the concepts, politics and practice of humanitarianism, and with skills to analyse current trends and developments in this important area of international politics.  
This course will be taught in Japan (in English) as part of the Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the key conceptual, theoretical and and political debates relevant to humanitarianism as a field of study and practice.
  2. Understand and analyse the historical evolution of the legal frameworks and organizations that shape contemporary humanitarian practice.
  3. Apply various theoretical and analytical approaches to important humanitarian issues in global politics.
  4. Communicate ideas and arguments related to the subject matter effectively through written and verbal expression.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Reflective exercise (1,500 words) (20) [LO 1,3,4]
  2. Midterm review (1,500 words) (30) [LO 1,2,4]
  3. Final Essay (2,000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Tutorial discussant (5-10 minutes) (10) [LO 2,3,4]

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.


This course comprises some 130 hours of activity over 12 weeks, including some 24 hours of lectures or an equivalent activity and some 12 hours of tutorials or equivalent activity. The course comprises a maximum of 6k words of assessment or the equivalent. 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

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course, students must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs. Incompatible with INTR3001.

Prescribed Texts

None listed


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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5433 08 Apr 2024 26 Apr 2024 31 May 2024 05 Jul 2024 In Person N/A

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