ATS3340 - International security studies - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Katrina Lee-Koo


Associate Professor Katrina Lee-Koo

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.




The unit introduces students to the key theories and issues facing global security today. It engages both traditional and non-traditional forms of security, examining global responses and options to address conflict, build peace, and create lasting security for states and individuals.

The unit begins with an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of traditional approaches to security - looking at the development and evolution of the realist and liberal traditions. It provides an analysis of these traditions' understanding of states and state behaviour, the use of power, the possibilities of state co-operation and the successes and failures of a rules-based order.

The unit continues with consideration of the opportunities and shortcomings of critical approaches to security - looking at the development of the so-called non-traditional approaches including constructivist, critical theory, feminist and post-colonial thinking on security. These approaches offer different analyses of how we should understand and address current global challenges by giving greater consideration to the role of identity, culture, history, and individuals.

In looking at the different theoretical approaches, this unit will engage contemporary crises in global security such as conflict, humanitarian intervention, peace-building, inequality, environmental change, the role of states and global institutions, and human insecurity.


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

  1. identify and explain the theories of security and successfully apply them to contemporary global crises;
  2. appraise several contemporary global security crises;
  3. analyse the roles of states, global institutions (such as the UN Security Council), and non-state actors (such as NGOs or terrorist groups) in relation to questions of security;
  4. utilise information and research skills to formulate and respond to essay questions;
  5. critically assess the academic scholarship, including methods, assumptions and uses of evidence, and organise and defend a verbal and written argument based upon those assessments;
  6. 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

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