AHA721 - Dynamics and Dilemmas of the Humanitarian Sector


2021 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125



AHL701 unless previously completed

Students enrolled in course A767 - NIL

Incompatible with:


Study commitment

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

Scheduled learning activities - campus

 1 x 1.5-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud (online)

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


This unit provides a critical understanding of the key policy issues currently facing the humanitarian sector, with a focus on geo-political trends and their implications for the delivery of principled humanitarian action in conflict contexts.

We begin by examining the legal frameworks relevant to humanitarian crises, including international law on the use of force and the quasi-legal doctrines of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect, and international human rights and humanitarian law. We then consider the securitization and politicization of aid, including discussion of stabilization operations and civil-military relations, and we discuss the evolving role of the UN in humanitarian crises - from peacekeeping to 'integrated missions'. We also examine the rules and practicalities related to humanitarian access, including by examining the implications of counter-terrorism legislation. We finish by discussing the dynamics and dilemmas likely to face humanitarian practitioners working in conflict contexts into the future.

Unit Fee Information

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