Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit explores the main forms of insecurity in contemporary Africa, one of the world's least secure regions, and examines the various actors and institutions that either threaten security or attempt to provide and manage it. (In)security is defined broadly to include military and non-military dimensions—such as armed conflict, gender-based violence and political repression; population displacement; poverty, health and underdevelopment; environmental change and natural resources competition—at the human, state, and regional levels in Africa. It examines historical causes of insecurity, including European colonialism, Cold War competition, and the nature of the post-colonial state. Relations of security governance at different levels are explored—between people and their governments, between African states in the regional context (including via the African Union), and between external actors and Africa (including the United Nations and International Criminal Court). The unit draws upon particular case studies, such as Mali, Darfur, Libya, Somalia, DR Congo and Rwanda.

6 points
Not available in 2023UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) critically understand different approaches to and conceptions of security, and their application to Africa; (2) critically analyse historical and structural causes of insecurity in Africa; (3) critically analyse key contemporary forms of insecurity in Africa; (4) critically understand and evaluate key institutional, governance and policy responses to security challenges on the continent; (5) construct a policy briefing for a relevant authority on a relevant contemporary issue; and (6) undertake research pertaining to the unit's theme.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a critical review; (2) a policy briefing; and (3) a research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
Advisable prior study
Bachelor of Arts (BP001) (major in Political Science and International Relations)
Contact hours
seminars: 18 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.