POLIS 2133 - Security, Justice and Rights

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

This course seeks to bring together two important areas in the study of international politics: global justice and security. Security is a core concern for states and individuals, but the pursuit of security, maybe especially in the international arena, raises a number of important and difficult questions both at the theoretical and empirical level. This course covers a number of approaches to the study of security in International Relations (e.g. realism, liberalism and feminism), it explores what we mean by security (whose security? And security from what?), it seeks to identify new issues on the global security agenda (e.g. human security, the environment) and to ask questions about what is permissible or desirable to do in the pursuit of security (can it ever be right to torture somebody? And if so, when? Who is a terrorist? Is there a trade off between rights and security? And between security and justice? And how do we go about answering these questions?). In exploring these theoretical issues and answering these questions about right and wrong we will also be learning about the dynamics of international politics and the realities of our globalised world.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2133
    Course Security, Justice and Rights
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible POLI 2133
    Assessment 2000 word essay 40%, weekly online test 30%, workshops group work and group research project 30%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Tiziana Torresi

    Convenor: Dr. Tiziana Torresi
    Email: tiziana.torresi@adelaide.edu.au
    Room: Napier 413; Office hours, by appointment
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Knowledge of a variety of critical theoretical approaches to contemporary security issues
    2 To stimulate critical reflection on contemporary security practices
    3 Knowledge of a number of normative theoretical frameworks for thinking about global political justice
    4 Greater understanding of international politics and its dynamics
    5 Greater understanding of political change
    6 Enhanced skills in research, synthesis, organisation and presentation of information
    7 Ability to read reflectively and critically a diverse range of texts and to critically evaluate arguments
    8 Ability to engage in constructive and respectful discussion in a seminar setting and to work cooperatively in a group
    9 An ability to work independently and manage time effectively
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no textbook for this curse, all readings will be availble on line through the University library.
    Recommended Resources
    Detailed information will be given in class and through MyUni
    Online Learning
    We will be using a number of online resources, including online lectures, detailed information will be given in class and through MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Online lectures are used to explore the theoretical frameworks, both critical and normative, that are central to the issues discussed in the course. In the workshops students have the opportunity to apply the theoretical tools acquired though the readings and lectures on case studies through guided activities and discussions as well as group work. Guidance is provided through feedback and consultations to help students develop research skills, critical thinking, as well as their capacity to express themselves in written and oral form, guidance is targeted at each student’s specific needs, and students are referred for appropriate support when needed

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Three contact hours per week (one online lecture and two hours of workshop), with an additional six to eight hours independent study per week
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1: Introduction: What is Security?
    Week 2: The Role of Norms
    Week 3: Human Security
    Week 4: Security, Justice and Development
    Week 5: Terrorism
    Week 6: Torture, Detention and Extraordinary Renditions
    Week 7: Security and Freedom -
    Week 8: Security and the Border 1
    Week 9: Security and the Border 2
    Week 10: Environmental Security
    Week 11: Women and Security
    Week 12: Summing up
    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Workshop participation, attendance and activities 20%, continuous through the semester, summative assessment, students are assessed on the basis of their contributions and regular attendance to workshops (learning objective: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8). Research essay, 40%, summative assessment. Students are required to write a research essay engaging with one of the questions provided (learning objective: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8). Weekly multiple choice tests, 40%, summative assessment. The tests are meant to test the students developing knowledge and understanding of the material and to provide useful feedback to both students and instructor throughout the course (learning objective: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
    Assessment Detail
    There are three assessment tasks for this course. They all develop and test different skills and facets of your knowledge and understanding of the material, and therefore help you on your progress as well as give everybody the chance to express their strengths. The workshop participation and activities teache you, and tests, your ability to engage in constructive argument, problem-solving and thinking quickly on your feetas well as your capacity to work in groups. The research essay will help you develop your skills in critical thinking, ability to construct a convincing argument, research and communication. The multiple choice tests will test your knowledge base and understanding throughout the semester.

    Workshop Participation, Attendance and Activities 20 %

    Research Essay 40 %

    Weekly Multiple Choice Tests 40 %

    Workshop attendance and participation, tutorial activities worth 20%
    Workshop participation: Students will be assessed on their participation in discussions. Students are expected to contribute actively to class discussions. Consistent participation showing familiarity with, and reflection on, each week’s assigned readings is strongly encouraged. It is expected that all students will read, at least, the essential readings in advance of each workshop and do any other task in preparation as detailed in the course information, this is a compulsory aspect of the course.

    Research essay, 2000 words, worth 40%
    For the research essay, I am expecting you to provide a clear, critical, reflective, well-supported argument in your own voice. There must be evidence of independent research. Reference properly, and do not forget a bibliography. I accept all (academic) referencing styles, as long as you are consistent.

    Weekly, online multiple choice tests, worth 40%
    The test is a standard multiple choice test, it will cover only topics that we have discussed in the course, either in the lectures, the readings or the workshops.

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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