POLIS 1102 - Introduction to Global Politics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to global politics, focusing in particular on its origins and historical evolution, its key concepts, major theoretical frameworks, main actors and institutions, the global architecture of power, and its dynamic nature in the process of globalisation. More specifically, the course introduces concepts of power, statecraft, diplomacy, foreign policy, political economy and international security, and examines the evolution of international relations in the 20th and 21st centuries. The course combines the study of concepts and theories with a range of questions about global politics, including: Why bother with theory? Have we reached 'the end of history'? Why is the world divided in nation-states? What factors influence the foreign policy of states? Is the sovereign state in decline? What is the 'new world (dis)order'? Are we experiencing a 'clash of civilisations'? Why do wars occur? Is there such a thing as a just war? What are the causes of terrorism? How is the world organised economically? Do transnational corporations rule the world? Is free trade the solution to global poverty? What are the main global threats of the 21st century? These and other questions will be explored through the examination of a wide range of contemporary issues and case studies, including: the rise of China; the resurgence of Russia; the nuclear threat posed by North Korea; the tensions in the South China Sea; the role of the United Nations; the future of the European Union, particularly after Brexit; the role of the United States in global politics; the increasing power of transnational corporations, such as Wal-Mart, Google and Facebook; the terrorist threat posed by Al-Qaeda and Islamic State; the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Palestine; the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar; the impact of global pandemics (e.g. Covid-19); and the multiple threats posed by climate change in the 21st century.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 1102
    Course Introduction to Global Politics
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible POLI 1102
    Assessment Tutorial work, Test 1, Test 2, Research essay
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Benito Cao

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 understand the broad history of international relations
    2 understand the key concepts and theories of international relations
    3 identify and discuss the major actors and processes of international relations
    4 think critically about the fundamental dimensions of international relations
    5 conduct independent research utilising a variety of sources
    6 critically engage with contemporary international political issues
    7 produce coherent and well substantiated arguments
    8 express ideas confidently, thoughtfully and respectfully
    9 work with others in the exploration of relevant political content
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    4, 5, 6, 9

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    5, 7, 8, 9

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2, 4, 6, 8, 9

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    4, 5, 6, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbook and continual access to MyUni. The textbook will be announced in due course through the course website.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended resources, such as additional readings, will be uploaded onto the course website located on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be utilised to upload additional resources. Lectures will be recorded and available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is comprised primarily of lectures and tutorials. The lectures will introduce the key concepts, theories and themes, using a combination of multi-media sources (e.g. slides, videos, web-links, etc.). The tutorials will consist of small-group activities (including student presentations) and semi-structured debates on the weekly topics.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour lectures (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorials (or equivalent) per week 12 hours per semester
    3 hours tutorial preparation per week 36 hours per semester
    3 hours reading per week 36 hours per semester
    2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester
    2 hours assignment preparation per week 24 hours per semester
    156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Introduction
    Week 2 The Making of the 21st Century
    Week 3 Theories of International Relations
    Week 4 The State and the Global System
    Week 5 Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs
    Week 6 Global Governance in Transition
    Week 7 The Global Politics of Identity
    Week 8 War, Terrorism and Global Conflict
    Week 9 The Global Political Economy
    Week 10 Human Rights and Human Security
    Week 11 Global Threats and Global Ethics
    Week 12 The Future of Global Politics
    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcomes
    Tutorial Work Formative and Summative 25% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Test (Part 1) Summative 10% 1, 2, 3
    Test (Part 2) Summative 15% 1, 2, 3
    Research Essay Formative and Summative 50% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Tutorial attendance is compulsory. Failure to attend three or more tutorials without permission from the tutor or the course coordinator can result in the student being precluded from passing the course.

    Essays must be submitted electronically, through Turnitin. The relevant link will be available on MyUni.
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial Work: Tutorials are forums for free exchange and discussion of informed opinions, that is, ideas and thoughts based on reading and reflection, as well as places for raising questions and for the exchange of relevant information. All students are expected to have read the required readings in preparation for the tutorials. Tutorials will be assessed on the basis of the depth of knowledge on the weekly topic, the quality of engagement with the weekly readings and other materials, and the attitude displayed towards the arguments and contributions of others. Tutorial work will include small-group activities, including student presentations. Additional guidelines will be provided during the first tutorials, in Week 1.

    Research Essay: The research essay is designed to assess the student’s ability to conduct independent research, evaluate relevant materials, and formulate a coherent, sophisticated and well-substantiated argument on one of the topics covered in the course. Students will be able to select an essay question from a list that will be posted on MyUni, or come up with their own question. Those who choose to write their own question must get approval from their tutor no less than two weeks prior to the due date. The research essay will be 1800-2000 words.

    Multiple Choice Test: The multiple-choice test will be held in two parts, the first in Week 5 and the second in Week 12. The two-part test will assess the student's knowledge of the key concepts, theories and themes explored throughout the course. The questions will be based on the material covered during the lectures and contained in the required readings.

    Important Note: Essential information to complete these assignments successfully will be provided in due course in tutorials and on MyUni in the form of responses to frequently asked questions [FAQs].
    • Essays must be submitted electronically, through Turnitin. The relevant link will be available on MyUni.
    • Late essays without an approved extension will be penalised at the rate of 2% (2 marks) per day.
    • There is a cut-off period of 7 days (including weekends and public holidays), after which late submissions without a formal extension will not be accepted/marked. In the case of late submissions with a formal extension approved, the cut-off date is 7 days (including weekends and public holidays) from the revised due date, at 11:59pm.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.