POLIS 2128 - Australia Faces the World

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

Australia's history, geography and demography have always affected its foreign and economic policies. This course examines Australia's evolving attitude to its relationship with the rest of the world, as well as the influence that the global environment has on Australian politics through trade and investment, imperialism, immigration and international law. The early part of the course explores the interaction between domestic politics and foreign policy, asking whether there is a distinctive Australian political culture driving continuity and change in these areas. We approach critically the long-term alliances with Britain and the United States, and contemporary engagement with the dynamic economies of Asia and our Pacific neighbours, as well as a range of international organisations such as the United Nations. Theories of international political economy are also used to position Australia in the international system and understand recent changes in the openness of Australia's economy. In both the foreign policy and political economy sections of the course, we compare Australia to states with similar population, colonial history and resource wealth. Case studies may include Australia's involvement in past and recent wars, domestic and foreign policy dimensions of terrorism, populist responses to globalization, international environmental issues, and changing notions of citizenship.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2128
    Course Australia Faces the World
    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
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 Arts courses
    Incompatible POLI 2128
    Assessment 2500 word essay 40%, 1200 word report 20%, 1800 word review exercise (30%), tutorial participation (10%).
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Wayne Errington

    Course Timetable

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

    There will be one online lecture and one two-hour seminar per week.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    After this course you should be able to:
    • critically analyse Australian public policy, in particular foreign policy and political economy.  
    • participate in group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view.
    • write and argue about subjective claims in Australian politics using the basic terminology of social science.
    • navigate the large amounts of research material available in this subject through both traditional academic sources and through the use of information technology.

    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1
    Introduction: Between the Great Powers

    Week 2
    History and Geography

    Week 3
    Constraints on Foreign Policy Making

    Week 4
    Globalization and Trade

    Week 5
    Finance and Investment

    Week 6
    Security and Strategy

    Week 7
    Terrorism and Civil Liberties

    Week 8
    War as Insurance

    Week 9
    International Law

    Week 10
    Aid and Diplomacy

    Week 11
    Nationalism and Immigration

    Week 12

    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    During weeks 4 and 11, students will work in groups on policy priorities in Australian foreign policy, identifying relevant sources and making a short report to the class.
  • 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
    2400 word essay (40%), 1200 word report (20%), 1500 word review exercise (30%),
    tutorial participation (10%).

    See MyUni for details

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    See MyUni
    Submission of essays and reports will be via MyUni.
    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.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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