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Complex Emergencies and Civil-military Relations

Understand what complex emergencies are and how civil-military relations can be managed.

Complex Emergencies and Civil-military Relations
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    10 hours

Explore various types of emergencies and operational challenges

This short course explores the complex nature of settings in which humanitarian responses are dispensed. It explores how intrastate conflict can inform the approach to disaster response and underlines the importance of the effective management of professional relationships among actors from a range of traditions, including the military. This underlines the importance of trust in humanitarian responders among beneficiaries.

What topics will you cover?

  • Types of disasters and concepts – protracted, forgotten and complex
  • The ‘just war’ theories
  • The origin of complex emergencies
  • Characteristics of complex emergencies
  • Humanitarian responses in complex settings
  • The military and their involvement in humanitarian response and complex emergencies
  • Opportunities and challenges facing civil-military relations
  • Negotiating relationships between civil and military actors for humanitarian responses

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore types of emergencies
  • Assess operational challenges that are typical of complex emergencies
  • Evaluate the operational implications of humanitarian response within complex settings

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at people who wish to understand how best to manage complex emergencies and civil-military relations.

Please note that the individuals detailed in the ‘Who will you learn with?’ section below, are current staff members and may be subject to change.

Who will you learn with?

Lecturer in International Disaster Relief and Community Reconstruction

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured gold in the UK Government’s 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and is University of the Year for Student Experience in The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

  • Established

  • Location


Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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