Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Robert Simpson


Previously coded INT3920


When, if ever, is warfare justified? What about humanitarian intervention? What about violent revolution and terrorism? Why should civilians be protected in conflict? This unit will introduce students to theoretical approaches to the ethics of conflict that will allow them to answer these difficult questions. It will also serve to introduce students to basic ideas in moral and political philosophy. No background in philosophy is required: merely an interest in rational argument applied to global conflict.


Students successfully completing this unit will:

  1. have a high level of understanding of the central ideas of just war theory
  2. appreciate a wide variety of criticisms of just war theory
  3. understand the connections between human rights and war
  4. have developed the ability to apply theories of justice in conflict to actual cas es from recent history
  5. be able to develop and critically assess arguments about the justification of violence in the pursuit of political ends
  6. have improved their ability to effectively communicate about complex issues in international affairs
  7. have developed their ability to conduct independent research on topics of international justice.


Written work: 80% (3500 words)
Test: 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in Philosophy, International Studies, Human Rights, Politics or International Relations.


Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: