• Offered by Department of Political and Social Change
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Paul Hutchcroft
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2025
    See Future Offerings

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.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Critical Seminar Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. Weekly Wattle Forum Discussion Contributions (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Seminar Presentation (10) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  4. Mid-term Essay (1750 words) (25) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  5. Final Essay (3000 words) (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.

Workload

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 6000 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. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in an honours program. Incompatible with POLS8043.

Prescribed Texts

N/A

Fees

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:
14
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7949 21 Jul 2025 28 Jul 2025 31 Aug 2025 24 Oct 2025 In Person N/A

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