Unit Descriptions

Core Units

Table A Electives

Table B Electives

Core Units

CISS6001 New Security Challenges

This unit considers the evolving nature of security in the context of global politics. It focuses on non-military challenges to security while acknowledging the relationships between these and traditional security concerns. Among the topics considered are: international law and security; the privatisation of security; economics and security; energy resources; environmental degradation; the burden of infectious diseases; population dynamics; gender and age perspectives on security; the dilemmas of fragile and failing states transnational organised crime; and new modes of warfare. The overall objective of the unit is to engage with issues and arguments that challenge how security is traditionally understood. Teaching and learning take place via a combination of lectures, student-led seminars, debates and case studies.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 2 by Associate Professor Jingdong Yuan.

CISS6002 Strategy & Security in the Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region faces a matrix of security challenges that are unique in the early part of the 21st century. This unit will examine whether a new security dilemma is emerging in Asia commensurate with the rise of China and India as two potential superpowers by 2050, and it will assess the major strategic drivers pertinent to the Asia-Pacific. The combination of regional security challenges to be examined in this unit include: the strategic relationships between the United States, China and Japan; the potential for conflict on the Korean peninsula, in the Taiwan strait, and between India and Pakistan; concerns about nuclear proliferation; extremist violence by Muslims and others in Southeast Asia; and inadequate systems of governance in some South Pacific countries. The overall objective of the unit is to engage with issues and arguments about security that relate specifically to the Asia-Pacific region. Teaching and learning take place via a combination of lectures, student-led seminars, independent research, debates and case studies.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 1 by

CISS6006 Statebuilding and 'Fragile States'

This unit critically examines the notion of state fragility within the global system. It investigates the characteristics of so-called 'fragile' and 'failed' states, and the nature of international engagement with (and discourses about) these states. It explores various perspectives on state formation in both Western and post-colonial contexts, and emphasises the ways in which knowledge is produced about non-Western states. The unit expands upon the theoretical literature with evidence from case studies in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 2 by Martin Kear.

GOVT6119 International Security

This unit reviews developments in international security since before World War l, to recent events like September 11 and its aftermath. The principal focus is on developments since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Communism. The unit takes account of traditional notions about the causes of war and the conditions of peace, as well as changes in the structure and process of contemporary international relations.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 1 by Dr Melinda Rankin.

Table A Electives

CISS6003 Business and Security

This unit examines the importance of security in business through assessing contemporary security challenges and what 'security' comprises in a business context. Topics include: fraud and corruption, cybercrime, industrial espionage, corporate liability, business and organised crime links, preparedness for terrorism, business continuity during infectious disease outbreaks, the international arms trade, and private military corporations. The unit includes management sessions which focus on risk and crisis management, and planning for effective security. Teaching and learning take place via a combination of lectures, student-led seminars, case studies and crisis simulations.

This unit will not be offered in 2018.

CISS6004 Health and Security

This unit assesses the political and security significance of disease-related events and developments. Whether one contemplates historical experiences with smallpox, the contemporary challenges posed by diseases such as HIV/AIDS and SARS, or the risks arising from new scientific developments such as synthetic biology, it is clear that diseases exercise a powerful influence over civilised humankind. The unit concentrates on areas in which human health and security concerns intersect most closely, including: biological weapons; fast-moving disease outbreaks of natural origin; safety and security in microbiology laboratories; and the relationships between infectious disease patterns, public health capacity, state functioning and violent conflict. The overall aim of the unit is to provide students with a stronger understanding of the scientific and political nature of these problems, why and how they might threaten security, and the conceptual and empirical connections between them.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 2. Course convenor TBC.

CISS6005 Ethics, Law and War

This unit examines ethical and legal norms relating to the use of armed force for political purposes by states and non-state actors. In particular, it explores the ways in which ethics and law influence - or fail to influence - strategic and tactical decisions. After an introduction to the nature of ethics and law and their relationship with politics and strategy, the unit examines a wide range of topics, drawing on historical and contemporary case studies. The topics covered include: conscription and conscientious objection; law of armed conflict in international and internal conflicts; the concept of inhumane weapons; the use of private contractors to support and wage war; ideas of Just War and self-defence; forceful intervention in other states for humanitarian and other purposes; ethics and the 'war on terror'; and the enforcement of ethical and legal norms.

This unit will not be offered in 2018.

CISS6007 Terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region

The unit will begin by providing a conceptual framework for understanding the phenomenon of terrorism as a form of asymmetrical warfare waged by political actors including an examination of the impact that the end of the Cold War has had on the rise of religiously inspired terrorism. In doing so, common misconceptions will be challenged, highlighting the rationality that drives terrorist behaviour and strategies. With a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the unit will analyse terrorist organisational structures, including leadership, ideologies, motivations, capabilities, strategies, tactics and targets. Equipped with this knowledge, students will consider effective counter-terrorism strategies, including practical considerations for protecting critical functions of the state and private sector.

This unit will not be offered in 2018.

CISS6008 Population and Security

This unit considers the importance of demographic factors in international security. It attempts to provide answers to the complex questions regarding how population changes affect security concerns. In particular it examines how population dynamics and characteristics such as growth rates, fertility, mortality, age and ethnic structure might be linked to national and international security. Among topics covered will be key global population trends, differing world population transitions, the significance of resource scarcity and environmental degradation, the role of natural disasters, and the significance of ethnic and religious divisions. Case studies will be presented with respect to how demographics may contribute to undermining the viability of modern states and the importance of population to security considerations in the Asia-Pacific region.

This unit will not be offered in 2018.

CISS6012 Civil-Military Relations

This unit assesses the nature and effectiveness of civil-military cooperation and coordination in preparing for, responding to, and averting the impact of natural disasters (such as the 2004 tsunami) and conflict, particularly in Australia's nearer region. The new realities of intra-state conflict and support to fragile states have seen Australia commit increased resources to enhance prospects for stability and reduce population displacement, while promoting economic development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Students in this unit will examine the nexus between state-centric and human security, as well as the difficulties for military forces and humanitarian actors in navigating the 'space' in which they are co-located. Policies, principles and practices of the Australian Government, the United Nations, and other key international actors and non-government organisations will be considered. The unit will also examine issues such as disaster risk-reduction, peace-building strategies, population displacement, and civil-military requirements for population protection, particularly under the Responsibility to Protect framework. The overall aim of the unit is for students to gain a better understanding of the complexities of civil-military relations in disaster and conflict situations, and to examine trends, policies and practices relevant to Australia.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 2. Course convenor TBC.

CISS6013 Middle East Conflict and Security

The Middle East has been plagued for more than a century by a series of national, ethnic and religious conflicts, reflecting shifting regional alliances and the unresolved legacy of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the end of colonial rule. The security of this region will always remain a focus of those concerned with energy security for as long as it remains the location of the world's largest known reserves of oil and gas. This unit examines the causes and manifestation of conflict and insecurity in the Middle East today by starting with a theoretical framework for examining the process of state-formation in the region followed by an analysis of specific intra and inter-state conflicts with a view of considering, at the end of the semester, the probability of the region becoming more secure in the foreseeable future.

This unit will not be taught in 2018.

CISS6014 Human Security

The UN Development Programme's Human Development Report of 1994 first proposed the concept of 'human security'. Often referred to as 'people-centred security' or 'security with a human face', human security places human beings - rather than states - at the focal point of security considerations.This unit considers three facets of human security: freedom from want; freedom from fear; and the freedom to live in dignity. It considers the contested nature of the concept and assesses its value for understanding the development of the security field. It will focus in particular on human security issues related to terrorism, human trafficking, humanitarian intervention, and the responsibility to protect doctrine, as well as the framework of global governance for advancing human security. The importance of understanding the gender dimensions of human security will also be a core feature of the unit.

This unit will not be taught in 2018.

CISS6015 Alliances and Coalition Warfare

Alliances and coalitions are pivotal features of international security. This unit interrogates these closely related phenomena using a combination of conceptual frameworks to analyse them and empirical studies to illustrate them. The unit starts with an investigation into the thorny definitional issues that surround the distinctions between 'alliance' and 'coalition', then outlines the major conceptual theoretical works pertinent to examining these phenomena, such as balance of power, intra-alliance politics and multinational operations. Equipped with these analytical tools, students will apply these concepts to a series of case studies of alliance management and coalition warfare operations. Case studies include World Wars I and II, the Cold War (NATO/Warsaw Pact), The Gulf War (1991), the Balkan Wars (Bosnia 1992-5, Kosovo 1999), and the current 'global war on terror' (i.e. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan). Through this process students will gain both a conceptual and practical understanding of peacetime alliance behaviour and the principles of conducting military operations alongside allies. Student presentations will include an emphasis on Australia's role as an alliance/coalition partner in historical and contemporary conflicts.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 2 by Dr Thomas Wilkins.

CISS6016 Chinese Foreign and Security Policy

China’s rise to regional and global prominence has attracted growing attention in recent years. Scholars as well as policymakers debate and assess the implications of rising Chinese power for regional security and the international system. This seminar introduces students to Chinese foreign and security policy, including its handling of major-power relations, its active pursuit of multilateral diplomacy in regional organizations and participation in international peacekeeping operations, and its changing perspectives on arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. It begins with a brief history of phases in Chinese foreign and security policy and then gives an overview of major theoretical approaches to the subject. These theoretical perspectives are useful in examining a wide range of policy issues, ranging from Chinese strategic modernization, security trends in the Taiwan Strait, civilmilitary relations, the Chinese foreign policy process, and the domestic sources of Chinese foreign and security policy.

The course is taught as a seminar, with students expected to write a book review, a research design and bibliography, and a
final research paper. Students will be required to do assigned reading, participate actively in class discussions, make oral
presentations of their book review and research paper, and serve as a discussant for one of their classmates’ papers.

In 2018 this unit will be taught in Semester 1 by Dr Minglu Chen.

CISS6018 Nuclear Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

This unit introduces students to the basic knowledge of the issues, challenges, and policies related to nuclear arms control and non-proliferation at a level sufficient for professional work in the international security community. The principal objective is to give students a better understanding of the politics of arms control and non-proliferation and to help them develop the analytical skills for undertaking policy-relevant research and the ability to develop policy recommendations. The course is also designed to cope with proliferation problems and the ways that arms control can contribute to national and regional security.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 1 by Jingdong Yuan.

CISS6019 War and Strategy

This unit aims to supply students with an introduction to military affairs and the conduct of war. It considers the complex relationship between politics and strategy and examines strategic thought, the application of land/air/space/naval power and military technologies. It applies this knowledge to interactive case studies before proceeding to investigate more contemporary strategic problems such as the 'revolution in military affairs', 'new' wars, and counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency.

In 2018, this unit will be taught by Dr Melinda Rankin.

CISS6020 Geopolitics of Energy Security in Asia

Focusing on China and India, this unit of study examines why energy security is a critical security issue in the Indo-Pacific, and in international relations. The unit has two principle objectives: (1) developing an understanding of the domestic priorities, politics and economics of China and India, and examining how these factors play an important role in shaping energy security and foreign policy; (2) analysing the geostrategic implications of China and India’s energy security policies on other key regional players.

This unit will not be offered in 2018.

CISS6022 Cybersecurity

The digital revolution has created new frontiers of information that influence almost every aspect of our lives. But does cyberspace also threaten our security? What are the methods and motives for attack? And how can state and non-state actors respond? Drawing on a unique combination of expertise from the Centre for International Security Studies and the School of Information Technologies, this unit introduces students to the technical and political concepts that are necessary to answer these important questions.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 2 by Frank Smith.

CISS6023 - Special topics in International Security 2

This unit of study uses emerging and established methods, theory and practice to approach developing situations in international, regional and domestic security. The unit will give students the opportunity to use these approaches in the analysis of contemporary issues, threats and responses in areas such as health and food security, cyber-security, terrorism, civil war and conflict between states, the role of media and other non-state actors, such as NGOs and private military contractors. The unit will provide the opportunity to develop practical skills in team-based collaborations. The assessment includes both team and individual tasks.

In 2018, this unit will be taught in Semester 2 by James Der Derian.

CISS6024 - MHlthSec Practice Placement

This unit gives students who have completed their first 24 credit points of the Master of Health Security with a 75% or more grade point average the opportunity to undertake a work placement in a relevant institution to gain valuable work experience. During placements students will undertake a project that will make a useful contribution to the workplace.

In 2018, this unit will be coordinated in Semester 1 by Adam Kamradt-Scott and in Semester 2 by Stewart Jackson.

Table B Electives

CISS6009 Research Essay 1

This unit consists of a 6,000 word research essay under the guidance of a supervisor from CISS. Normally it involves deeper study of a subject which the student has already covered in her/his degree. Entry into this unit is by permission only, and depends upon the availability of a CISS supervisor for the proposed topic, the student's existing knowledge in the area, and her/his performance in the preceding semester.

MCom, MBus, and MIntSec students can take this unit as a stand-alone elective unit. MIntSec students may also take this unit in conjunction with CISS6010 Research Essay 2, writing a supervised dissertation of 10,000 - 12,000 words.

In 2018, this unit is available in both Semesters 1 and 2. For more information please contact the PG Research Coordinator Stewart Jackson.

CISS6010 Research Essay 2

This unit is the second of a two-part, supervised dissertation of 10,000 - 12,000 words to be taken in conjunction with CISS6009 Research Essay 1. Entry into this unit is by permission only and requires the completion of a minimum of 4 units with an average of 75%, and upon the availability of a CISS supervisor for the proposed topic.

In 2018, this unit is available in both Semesters 1 and 2. For more information please contact the PG Research Coordinator Stewart Jackson.