Strategies of Political Violence - 2018

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Assessment 1 (20%) , Assignment 2 - Assessment 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 809.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,059.00

One of the most pervasive contemporary security challenges is the threats to the state and its population from political violence emerging from within state borders. Internal sources of armed conflict—such as communal violence, subversion and insurgency—have significant implications for national, regional and global security, and are increasingly acknowledged to be the most important foreign policy challenges and threats in the world today. This unit examines the strategies which underpin the use of political violence by state and non-state actors, including coercion, co-optation, undercutting and concession. It will use a range of international case studies to examine the causal factors behind the campaigns of political violence perpetrated by states and non-state actors and the responses of targets. The unit complements PICX110 which looks at the dynamics of coercion, PICX111 that addresses non-traditional security challenges, and PICX113 understanding terrorism in the twenty-first century.

Upon fulfilling the requirements of this unit, students will have the skills and knowledge to:

  1. Evaluate the contributing theoretical and practical approaches to understanding the strategies of political violence, including the relationship to their history and context.
  2. Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the legitimacy and the monopolies of the political use of force by state and non-state actors.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply theory and concepts to case studies, as well as independently collect one’s own empirical evidence and data.
  4. Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly
  5. Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.
  6.  Engage consistently with the unit through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.
  • Assignment 1 — Assessment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Assessment 2 (30%)
  • Assignment 3 — Assessment 3 (50%)

You should have completed 12 units including 6 PICX units.

A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this unit will be provided in your study materials.

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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