Civil-Military Relations (CISS6012)


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 to reduce poverty. 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 are considered. Attention is also given to disaster risk reduction and peace-building strategies to help minimise the severity of natural disasters and the reversion of fragile states into conflict. Focus is given to the problems and severity of population displacement, and to the civil-military requirements to implement 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 boundaries and complexities of civil-military relations in disaster and conflict situations, and to consider initiatives relevant to Australia.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2-hr seminar/week


5000wd essay (60%) and 1000wd equivalent seminar presentation (30%) and participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

Students must not undertake this unit if they took CISS6011 (Special Topic in International Security) when the special topic was Civil-Military Relations

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.