International Security

Subject POLS90022 (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 per week for 12 weeks. If enrolments exceed 30, the 2nd hour of the seminar may be split into 2 or 3 small classes.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Entry into the Master of International Relations, Master of International Politics, or Master of Arts International Politics (ASST).
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: A background in politics, history, law or economics is recommended but not essential
Non Allowed Subjects: none
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request 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:


Dr David Mickler


Dr. David Mickler
Subject Overview: This subject provides students with a critical understanding of the changing concepts and practices of security in a globalising world. Major security challenges and developments during the Cold War and post-Cold War period will be reviewed, including old and new sources of insecurity. Topics covered will include efforts to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the so-called shift from 'Old Wars' to 'New Wars', the problem of failed and weak states, terrorism, international organised crime, piracy, humanitarian intervention, climate change and pandemics. Traditional discourses of national security will be critically contrasted with new cosmopolitan security discourses such as comprehensive security, human security and environmental security. These new discourses of security and changing practices of 'securitisation' (including the privatisation of security services) will be critically evaluated in terms of their impact on traditional understandings of national security, territorial defence, and the role of the military.
  • Developing a political, historical and cultural understanding of both traditional and new sources of insecurity.
  • Developing a comprehensive knowledge of the development of international security regimes.
  • Strengthening skills in critically analysing different security discourses.
  • Developing skills in analysing and evaluating security policy.
Assessment: 4 x 500 word briefing papers, each worth 10% due throughout the semester, and a 3000 word essay worth 60% due at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts: A Reading Pack will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop
Recommended Texts:
  • Alan Collins, Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • Edward Kolodziej, Security and International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Applying research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry.
  • Developing persuasive arguments on a given topic.
  • Communicating oral and written arguments and ideas effectively.
  • Developing cross-cultural understanding.
Notes: This subject is a compulsory component of the Master of International Relations. It is also compuslory in the Master of International Politics 100-point program (teach-out) and the Master of Arts International Politics (ASST) for those students who have not completed 166-502.
Related Course(s): M.A.International Politics (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of International Politics
Master of International Relations
Master of International Studies
Postgraduate Diploma in International Studies

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