University of Sussex Business School

Humanitarianism in Theory and Practice (018IR)

Humanitarianism in Theory and Practice

Module 018IR

Module details for 2019/20.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

Humanitarianism in Theory and Practice is historically grounded, critically minded and practically oriented. It offers students the opportunity to understand and critically assess the politics and history of humanitarianism as a concept and practice; put into practice their critical awareness when addressing case studies of humanitarian emergencies and issues; and engage with humanitarians working in the field in a variety of ways. The module decentres the ‘classic’ story of humanitarianism as a wholly altruistic impetus. Rather, humanitarianism is situated within the history of industrialisation, colonialism and militarism as well as the politics of gender, class and race. We will explore how humanitarian organisations operate domestically as well as internationally and question what this means for our understanding of humanitarianism.

Module learning outcomes

Develop a systematic and critical understanding of humanitarianism as an ideology and a practice that shapes and structures global politics.

Develop a detailed conceptual understanding of the historical, theoretical, political and practical challenges associated with humanitarianism.

Apply theoretically grounded knowledge to practical tasks and empirical cases.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT1 Week 7 100.00%
Essay (3500 words)Semester 1 Assessment Week 1 Thu 16:0070.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterSeminar3 hours11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Synne Dyvik

Assess convenor, Convenor

Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit

Assess convenor

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