POLS5671 Peace and Security in Africa

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
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.
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.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr David Mickler
Unit rules
Advisable prior study:
Bachelor of Arts (BP001) (major in Political Science and International Relations)
Contact hours
seminars: 18 hours
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.