ADS734 - Geopolitics and Political Economy of Development


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 2: Burwood, Online, Community Based Delivery (CBD)*

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule: Nil


Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: AID231, AID331, AID731, AID734
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 3-day on-campus intensive (Burwood, Monday 12th – Wednesday 14th August 9-5pm, (livestreamed with recordings provided) 

3 x 1.5-hour on campus classes per week in weeks 1, 3, 8 (livestreamed with recordings provided) 

Scheduled learning activities - online

1 x 3-day online intensive (Monday 12th – Wednesday 14th August 9-5pm, livestreamed with recordings provided) 

3 x 1.5-hour online classes per week in weeks 1, 3, 8 (livestreamed with recordings provided) 


*Community Based Delivery (CBD) is for National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation NIKERI Institute students only.


This unit explores crises and development through geopolitical and political economy lenses. It considers how international institutions, laws, systems, structures, and economies impact humanitarian and development work from both the global and contextual scales. The unit explores International legal frameworks (sovereignty, international humanitarian law, humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping), Geopolitical systems and structures (UN approaches, power and foreign policy, securitisation and counter-terrorism) , Political economy of crisis and development (economic crises, globalisation, political economy of aid).

In this unit, students will learn about the legal basis for development and humanitarian response. They will also explore legal tools that enable development and humanitarian action, while critically unpacking the legal basis for why ‘we [the international community] don’t just do something.’ The unit provides an overview and history of the United Nations as it applies to development and humanitarianism – namely peacekeeping, the role of the security council, and its approaches to organising short-term crisis response alongside longer term goals. Finally, the unit delves into issues of political economy of crisis and development, using political economy lenses to interrogate not only the response to challenges but also their root causes.

Unit Fee Information

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