State sovereignty, human rights, and the responsibility to protect

Unit ATS2330 / ATS3330
Credit points  6 credit points
Location Monash Prato Centre, Italy
CoordinatorsDr Robert Simpson
Overseas dates Arts Semester in Prato
Applications open Not offered in 2018

Program details

Despite its recent inception, the doctrine of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (RtP) is now a central part of international political efforts to prevent genocidal violence. RtP rejects a traditional view of absolute state sovereignty, and is instead based on the idea that states are only sovereign so long as they don’t perpetrate or allow extreme human rights abuses. In this unit we begin by surveying the recent history of RtP as a guiding framework in international politics, and considering some of the challenges that have arisen around its implementation. We then investigate four sets of questions related to RtP, with both theoretical and practical aspects. First, is RtP a way for powerful nations to exert control over vulnerable nations? Second, are there reasons to doubt the effectiveness of RtP in achieving its aims? Third, what implications does the emergence of RtP have for how we understand the philosophical nature of human rights? Fourth, what are RtP’s implications in relation to growing refugee crises in the 21st century?


All students will receive a Monash Abroad Travel Grant.

Find out more about scholarships and loans available for all outbound students.

Program fee

Deposit (paid on application) TBC
Balance (paid on acceptance into program) TBC
Total TBC

Included in program fee

  • Site entrance fees
  • Parliamo Italian language and culture sessions
  • Travel Insurance (all outgoing students will receive complementary travel insurance)

Not included in program fee

  • All meals
  • Spending money
  • Visa
  • International return flights and transfers*
  • Accommodation (see below)**
  • Tuition fee (Monash students will be charged fees according to their verified funding status)

Accommodation Fee

For security, safety and visa requirements, all students undertaking units in Block 1, 2 or 3 must stay in Monash-approved accommodation in Prato. For this reason, Monash University will arrange your accommodation in Prato. Non-refundable accommodation deposits are required prior to application approval.

If you are undertaking a Study Tour in Block 3, the accommodation deposit is built into your program fee for this block.

 1 block 2 blocks3 blocks
Deposit (paid on application) $500 $1,000 $1,500
Balance (paid on application) TBC** TBC** TBC**
Please read our refund procedure carefully before applying
* Students should not book flights until after your application has been endorsed by the Faculty and the Faculty has confirmed the program will be going ahead.
** Multiple types/prices of accommodation will be available – Arts Global Programs will liaise with you once your application has been approved.