POLIS 2139 - The State of the World: Post Covid-19

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

The Covid-19 crisis has reignited questions about major global issues, such as: population numbers, food security, climate change, living standards, global heath, human rights, economic globalisation, and neoliberal capitalism. This course explores these and other related themes, including global political dynamics and policy responses, to provide a comprehensive picture of the post Covid-19 state of the world. The course takes its point of departure (and the inspiration for its title) from the annual reviews of the state of the world issued by international agencies and non-governmental organisations, such as the World Bank, the Worldwatch Institute, the World Health Organisation, Amnesty International, and many others. The course content is explored through the geopolitical distinction between the global North (the developed world) and the global South (the developing world), paying particular attention to the majority of the world?s population i.e. the people living in the global South. There are two overriding narratives that traverse the whole course. The first is the relation between economic development and environmental sustainability, and the global attempts to generate formulas for sustainable development. The second is the relation between the state (the public sector) and the market (the private sector), and the ways in which both can contribute to tackling the major issues regarding the state of the world. The central questions the course will explore include: Is there a global population problem? Is there enough food to feed the world? Is climate change the main global challenge? What are the major threats to global health? Is education the main solution to global problems? How can we achieve global human development? Does official development assistance (i.e. foreign aid) work? Can non-governmental organisations work where governments have failed? Is free trade (or fair trade) the solution to global poverty? How will the world emerge from the Covid-19 crisis?

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2139
    Course The State of the World: Post Covid-19
    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 I undergraduate study
    Assessment Seminar work (20%), Analytical Blog (40%), Research essay (40%)
    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
    1 develop a broad picture of the state of the world
    2 understand the basics of sustainable development
    3 identify and discuss major post Covid-19 challenges
    4 think critically about the many dimensions of global issues
    5 conduct independent research utilising a variety of sources
    6 critically engage with relevant political developments
    7 produce coherent and well substantiated arguments
    8 express ideas confidently, thoughtfully and respectfully
    9 work with others in the exploration of relevant 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)
    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)
    1, 2, 3, 4
    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
    4, 5, 6, 9
    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
    5, 7, 8, 9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    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
    2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
    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
    3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course Reader and access to MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended resources such as additional readings, essay writing information, referencing guidelines, and a wide range of information regarding student support services will be available in the course webpage located on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be utilised to upload additional resources (e.g. links to news items for tutorial discussion). Lectures will be be pre-recorded and available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is comprised primarily of lectures and seminars. Due to Covid-19 teaching arrangements, the lectures will be pre-recorded and available online. 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 seminars will consist of small-group activities 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.

    Table Caption
    1 x 2-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 seminar 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 Development
    Week 3 Population
    Week 4 Food
    Week 5 Environment
    Week 6 Health
    Week 7 Education
    Week 8 TBC
    Week 9 Foreign Aid
    Week 10 NGOs
    Week 11 Global Trade
    Week 12 TBC
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Seminars will include small-group activities and semi-structured discussions designed to provide students with a fulfilling 'small group discovery experience'. Students will also be encouraged to work in small groups outside the classroom, including in the research and production of some of their assignments.
  • 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 Outcome
    Seminar Work Formative and Summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Analytical Blog Formative and Summative 40% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Research Essay Formative and Summative 40% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Assessment Related Requirements
    ATTENDANCE AT SEMINARS IS COMPULSORY. Failure to attend three or more seminars without permission from the course coordinator can result in the student being precluded from passing the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Seminar Work: Seminars 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 seminars. Seminar work 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. Seminar work includes the submission and discussion of news items on weekly topics. This activity will be assessed separately according to guidelines provided during the first seminar, in Week 1.

    Research Essay: The research essay will assess the student's knowledge of key concepts and theories covered in the course, the student's ability to conduct independent research, formulate well substantiated arguments, and employ critical thinking. Students will be able to select an essay question from a list posted on MyUni, or come up with their own research question. The essay will be 1800-2000 words.

    Analytical Blog: The analytical blog is designed to assess the student’s understanding of and ability to critically engage with the five topics covered between Week 3 and Week 7. The word limit for each of the five blog entries will be 400 words, with the total word-count for all five blog entries being 1800-2000 words.

    Important note: essential information to complete written assignments successfully will be provided in due course in seminars and on MyUni in the form of answers to frequently asked questions [FAQs].
    The Analytical Blog and the Research Essay must be submitted electronically, through Turnitin. The link will be available on MyUni.

    The official procedure and form to apply for extensions is: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/3303

    Late assignments 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.