Violence, War and Terrorism

Subject PHIL90009 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2 hour seminar each week of semester
Total Time Commitment: 10 hours a week
Prerequisites: Admission to the MA (International Justice) or an approved equivalent course.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: No specific background knowledge is required for this subject
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :

Subject Overview:

Today, war is still a salient feature of international relations, while terrorism takes on ever more international character and scope. The subject will explore the philosophical - conceptual and moral - issues to do with violence, war, and terrorism. It will consider the concept of violence and the problem of its justification in a political context in general. The central part of the subject will examine the main approaches to war: realism, consequentialism, just war theory, and pacifism, and apply them to the "new wars"of the late twentieth and early twenty first century, which seem to be particularly resistant to moral and legal regulation. The subject will also discuss both the concept and the morality of terrorism, including state terrorism.


Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • have developed an understanding of the fundamentals of philosophical argumentation and theory.
  • be able to demonstrate a substantial knowledge of the area of Violence, War and Terrorism.
  • understand the theoretical sources of the key concepts in this area of study.
  • understand the application of these concepts to their professional field or study area.
Assessment: An essay of 5,000 words, 100% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

C.A.J. Coady, Morality and Political Violence Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008

Igor Primoratz (ed.), Terrorism: The Philosophical Issues Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have improved their ability to integrate abstract moral and conceptual considerations with relevant empirical data.
  • have developed research and analysis skills to enable further study in the area of international justice at a higher academic level.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Asian Societies)
Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Master of Arts in Philosophy (International Justice)(Adv.Seminars&ShTh)
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Ethics
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months

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