POLIS 2129 - Indo-Pacific Foreign Policy

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

This course examines the changing politics of foreign policy in the post-Cold War era. Until recently, dominant discussions in International Relations centred on issues related to the structure of the international system such as the decline of the bipolar order and the implications of a unipolar or multipolar order. The growth of global terrorism, the rise of new powers and institutions and the increasing prominence of new actors, however, has focused attention on the need to understand the decisions taken by states and other actors. The course has two key objectives. The first is to introduce students to various theoretical approaches to understanding foreign policy, with a focus on the relevance to foreign policy of the three main IR theories, realism, liberalism and constructivism. Second, students will use this theoretical knowledge to analyse a number of empirical issues, including ethics and responsibility in foreign policy, the impact of structures of global governance, such as the United Nations, on states' foreign policies, the rise of the media as an actor in international politics, the foreign policies of the rising powers, India and China, and the role of non-state actors like Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2129
    Course Indo-Pacific Foreign Policy
    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 undergraduate study
    Incompatible POLI 2081, POLI 2108, POLI 2129, POLI 3081
    Assessment Research proposal 25%, Workshop activities 15%, Online test 15%, Essay 45%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Priya Chacko

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Understand the development of the major approaches and theories of foreign policy analysis
    2. Understand and analyse the key approaches and theories of foreign policy analysis and apply them to empirical case studies
    3. Critically analyse and debate the foreign policy behaviour of particular states in the Indo-Pacific region in individual writing assignments and in group discussions
    4. Differentiate between, and evaluate, the key approaches and theories of foreign policy analysis in individual writing assignments and in group discussions
    5. Formulate research questions and synthesise information to write research proposals and essays
    6. Identify, outline and critically assess the arguments in the scholarly literature on foreign policy in individual assignments and in group discussions
    7. Be able to write essays and research proposals using the appropriate referencing system and to the highest standards of academic honesty
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Weekly online lectures supported by small group discovery which will further develop material covered in lectures.


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

    Students are
    expected to commit 12 hours each week to this course.


    Lectures: 1

    Workshop: 2

    preparation: 4 hours

    Reading and
    research for assessment: 5 hours

    Learning Activities Summary

    Week 1: Introduction to foreign policy analysis and the Indo-Pacific
    Week 2: Approaches to analysing foreign policy: Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism

    Week 3: Domestic sources of  foreign policy

    Week 4: Ethics and international sources of foreign policy

    Week 5: The media and public opinion

    Week 6: Indian foreign policy
    Week 7: China’s foreign policy
    Week 8: Japan's foreign policy

    Week 9: Indonesia's foreign policy

    Week 10: US foreign policy
    Week 11: Australian foreign policy

    Week 12: Indo-Pacific simulation


    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The Small Group Discovery Experience will take the form of activities in workshops which are designed to promote independent research skills, team work, presentation skills and problem solving skills.

  • 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
    1.    Workshop activities
    15% of total course mark
    Learning outcome: 1,2,3,4,5
    2.    Research proposal
    15% of total course mark
    Due date: TBA
    Learning outcome: 1,2,3,4,5

    3.   Multiple choice test - online
    15% of total course mark
    Due date: TBA
    Learning outcome: 1,2,3
    4.    Final essay
    45% of total mark
    Due date: TBA
    Learning outcome: 1,2,3,4,5

    Assessment Detail

    1.     Workshop activities

    You have one 1.5 hour group workshop or structured learning activity per week.

    Attendance at workshops are compulsory. A failure to attend without an adequate explanation or a failure to prepare for the tutorial will affect your final grade.

    Workshops 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 workshops. Workshops will be assessed on the basis of the depth of knowledge on the weekly topic, the quality of engagement with the weekly readings, and the attitude displayed towards the arguments and contributions of others. Most workshops will involve group work and a specific activity.

    2.    Research proposal

    The research proposal should be no longer than 1200 words excluding references.
    A model assignment (an example or exemplar) will be posted on MyUni to serve as a guide 

    3. Online test

    This will be a multiple choice test which will be completed and submitted to MyUni.


    4.   Final essay

    The final essay should be 2500 words long excluding references.

    Your final essay must be directed at answering the research question you have identified in the research proposal.

    Online Submission of Assignments (e-submission) via MyUni

    All assignments are to be submitted electronically via MyUni - this is a two-step process.  The assignment needs to be electronically submitted for marking via the ‘Assignments’ link in the course menu. It then needs to be submitted separately to Turnitin, which is also done via the MyUni site. Marked assignments will be returned to the student in printed form.

                **The submissions to ‘Assignments’ and to Turnitin must be identical**

    Return of assignments
    Research proposals will be returned to students in tutorials.
    Students must provide a self-addressed envelope to their tutor, in order to have the final essay returned to them after it has been marked. This is the only way to ensure that your essay will be returned to you. Give this to your tutor in the last tutorial.

    Extensions will only be granted on medical or other documented grounds. The
    pressure of other academic work or employment commitments will not be accepted as grounds for an extension. If, as often happens, several essays are due close to each other, you should plan your schedule so that you complete one or more before the deadline.

     Students wishing to apply for an extension need to submit the relevant form available at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/mod_arrange.html to the school office at least 5 days prior to the due date for the assignment.

    Exceptions to the Policy

    If one of the following criteria is met, an informal extension can be
    organised with the course coordinator or tutor:

    ·        small extension – 2 days or less;

    ·        assessment item is worth 20% or less;

    ·        student is registered with the Disability Office (need to attach a Disability
    Access Plan – DAP).

    Late Penalties

    Students who submit an essay late, without having gained an extension, will be liable to a penalty of 3% per day that the essay is overdue. Depending on the circumstances, essays more than
    five days late (including weekends) will be eligible for a Pass or Fail grade only.

    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.