Summer 2023 - POL 373 D100

Human Security (4)

Class Number: 3462

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 10921, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 9, 2023
    10:00 AM – 10:00 AM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in Political Science or permission of the department.



Explores what is involved in shifting the focus in the security realm from 'national interest' to the safety and needs of humans. Addresses several contemporary issues of human insecurity such as genocide, terrorism, civil wars and other complex emergencies; the political economy of conflict (small arms, "blood" diamonds); 'new' inequalities (economic, gender, class, ethnicity); and new health risks (e.g. HIV/AIDS, SARS, ecological degradation). Considers recent initiatives and trends that have emerged to deal with these issues (e.g. humanitarian intervention, International Criminal Court, new coalitions of state and non-state actors such as the Ottawa Process on anti-personnel mines). Students with credit for POL 349 'Special Topics' for credit under this title may not take this course for further credit.


Course Description:

This course examines the relationship between conflicts and development, and an exploration of the concept of human security as an approach to both development and peace-building. Students will become familiar with key theories of conflict, with particular attention to recent theories of “new wars” in the context of globalized economies and transnational networks. There will be exploration of the relationship between conflict and development outcomes using case studies. The bulk of the emphasis will be placed on the processes through which a diverse set of actors develop global public policy responses by articulating new policy agendas, defining policy recommendations, building governmental and non-governmental coalitions, negotiating international agreements, and monitoring and evaluating policy implementation. Attention will be given to assessing policy development strategies appropriate to the various stages of the public policy cycle, and to results-based approaches to effectively utilizing scarce resources.

Course Organization: 

There will be a four-hour seminar each week. There will be combination of seminars, lectures, and documentaries throughout the semester.


Students who have completed POL 373, POL 349 Special Topics or IS 409 Special Topics for credit under this title may not take this course for further credit.


  • Midterm (In-class) 20%
  • Policy Paper 40%
  • Take-Home Final Exam 30%
  • Participation/Presentation 10%



Fen Osler Hampson, Madness in the Multitide: Human Security and World Disorder, Oxford University Press, 2002

Other Readings will be placed on Reserve.


Alan Collins, Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford University Press, 2010.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.