Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Politics and International Relations


Dr Katrina Lee-Koo



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


The unit introduces students to the key themes of security, peace and conflict in international politics. From an outline and analysis of traditional notions of security, such as 'conventional war' and national security and the related theoretical paradigms of (neo) realism and liberalism, the unit will move to explore developing modes of understanding conflict and security such as 'non-conventional' or 'degenerate war', human security, and sub-state and trans-state violence.
The unit will then move through a series of case studies outlining key conflict scenarios in global politics such as inter-state conflict, international armed intervention, civil conflicts, resource conflicts, and trans-national political violence. Through this, students will be able to explore the implementation of peace or conflict resolution initiatives by the international community, stemming from particular understandings of the sources of conflict, and to debate the efficacy of these.
From here, this unit will focus on the UN and other intergovernmental organizations such as the EU, African Union, ASEAN and NGOs towards achieving peace. This will comprise investigation of specific approaches to conflict resolution, conflict transformation, and peace-building, including an examination of approaches to transitional justice and a critical examination of the debate around 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P).


By the end of their study of this subject, students will have gained:

  1. an appreciation of the various concepts for understanding peace and security in the contemporary world;
  2. knowledge of the root causes of conflicts;
  3. comprehension of the relationship between non-military security issues, conflicts and peace;
  4. an understanding of ways of resolving conflicts including the efforts of various actors - the UN, and other intergovernmental organizations such as the EU, AU, ASEAN; individual governments; and non-governmental organisations towards achieving peace;
  5. sufficient information and research skills to formulate and respond to essay questions;
  6. strong skills in critical oral and written assessment of the academic scholarship, including methods, assumptions and uses of evidence, and in organising and defending a verbal and written argument based upon those assessments;
  7. a capacity to reflect upon and make critical use of a range of resources including, where relevant, on-line materials.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.