The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The politics of genocide are brought forward within the course allowing exploration of how and why genocide occurs and prevails. Genocide is situated as a socio-political phenomenon within the academic purview of the social sciences. The response of both modern nation-states and the entire international community to this phenomenon is examined as we consider the history of genocide. Analysing important global case studies through the lens of leading social and political science theories will offer us a greater depth of understanding as to how and why genocide still persists in the modern era. Students have the opportunity to acquire strong critical thinking and analytical skills, valued attributes essential to the Politics discipline.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Comprehend the complex socio-political underpinnings of genocide and situate the study of genocide within the framework of political science and social science discourse.

2. Identify the historical conditions in which genocide can occur across all geographies

3. Formulate an historical knowledge and perspective of specific incidents of genocide from ancient times to modernity.

4. Construct relationships between modernity, industrial development and the scourge of modern genocide.

5. Comprehend the complex connections between the planning and coordination, extermination campaigns, and agencies of governance, religion and civil society.

6. Critically assess the response of modern nation-states to genocide and the role of the international community in trying to mitigate its incidence.

7. Employ research skills to critically evaluate the reliability, validity and efficacy of information, opinions and arguments.

8. Select and use an appropriate style, level and means of oral and written communication.


The course content will be drawn from but not limited to:

  1. Discussions of the conceptual foundations of genocide within the context of the social science theory and methodology.
  2. Discussions of the history of genocide from ancient persecutions, to the middle ages to modernity.
  3. Case studies on instances of genocide, including the Armenian genocide, Nazism and the Jews, Cambodia, Rwanda and Yugoslavia.
  4. Discussions on the problem of Indigenous genocide in settler societies.
  5. Thematic consolidation and conceptual understanding of genocide denial and historical revisionism.
  6. Assess the differing responses to genocide by the UN and the international community and the vexed issued of military intervention to prevent genocide.

Assumed knowledge

POLI1010 or POLI1020

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Essays / Written Assignments

Formal Examination: Examination: Formal

Participation: Group/tutorial participation and contribution

Presentation: Presentations - Tutorial