Introduction to Politics in Humanitarian Action

Semester 1

5 Credits

Curriculum Information

This module aims to introduce students to the political context of humanitarian action. Analysts, volunteers and practitioners who work (or intend to work) in humanitarian action need an appreciation of the socio-political context of humanitarian interventions. This module will focus on the concept of humanitarian space and issues such as geopolitics of disasters, governance structures, political doctrines relevant to humanitarian action and power relations between key stakeholders.

The module is designed to give students the competences to analyse the political structures and issues that influence humanitarian interventions. On successful completion of the module the students should be able to: (a) understand the main approaches in international relations and politics to study humanitarian action (b) describe the international humanitarian system (actors and structures) in its political context, (c) describe the key political doctrines relevant for humanitarian action, (d) comprehend the root causes of disasters, (e) critically analyse the challenges to humanitarian space.

There is no prior learning required.  This module aims to get a good mix of students from across all disciplines in UCD – that mirror the competences required of the humanitarian stakeholders mix.