AZA3015 - War, peace and international security - 2017

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

South Africa School of Social Science


Mr Laurence Caromba

Not offered in 2017


A perennial concern in politics, especially at the international level, is the problem of war and security. Violent conflict has been a feature of human society for millennia. Today, we are arguably living in a period unprecedented global peace, but there are still numerous countries and regions that are plagued by ongoing conflicts. These range from civil conflicts in Africa, to the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, the "war on terror" in the Middle-East, and other low-intensity and unconventional conflicts throughout the world. In addition, the emergence of China as a nascent military superpower, combined with the relative decline of the United States, has raised fears of a 'hegemonic transition': a delicate period that, in previous historical periods, has often been accompanied by intense security competition and war. This course will equip Monash students with the theoretical and practical knowledge to understand these issues, which rank as being among the important problems in politics.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. understand concepts such as terrorism, unconventional warfare, great powers, humanitarian intervention, balance of power, nuclear deterrence, hegemonic transition, and ethnic conflict;
  2. evaluate competing explanations for war, including realist, liberal and Leninist explanations for conflict;
  3. display a deep historical knowledge of the evolution of great power politics throughout the history;
  4. discuss the most important contemporary debates over security issues;
  5. successfully undertake a variety of research and writing tasks;
  6. demonstrate improved oral and written communication skills, particularly in relation to the analysis and explanation of ideas and the development of an argument.


Within semester assessment: 70%

Exam: 30%

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