POLIS 2140 - Australia's Security in the Indo-Pacific

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This course introduces students to Australia's security policies and the key domestic and international debates that shape them. It focuses on Australia's security in its primary area of geostrategic interest, the Indo-Pacific, which bridges the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Using theoretical approaches from both International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis, this course aims to equip students to critically analyse the challenges and opportunities open to Australia when pursuing its security in this region. Students will examine the concept of the Indo-Pacific, considering whether it describes a coherent strategic, economic and cultural region and questioning why Australia has chosen to focus its strategic policy on this region. They will then consider the security interests of key regional powers, including the United States, China, Japan, India and Indonesia, as well as key regions, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia, and evaluate how these affect Australia?s security interests. The non-traditional and transnational dimensions of security will also be examined, including terrorism, piracy, transnational crime, human security and environmental challenges. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to critically examine how Australian security policy is made and how Australia pursues its security in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2140
    Course Australia's Security in the Indo-Pacific
    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 12 units of Level I courses
    Assumed Knowledge A basic knowledge of the Australian political system
    Assessment Tutorial participation (10%), Op-ed (20%), Policy recommendation (20%), Exam (50%)
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Joanne Wallis

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of Australia’s security policies and the key domestic and international debates that shape them.
    2. Understand and use theoretical approaches from both International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis.
    3. Analyse Australia’s security in its primary area of geostrategic interest, the Indo-Pacific. 
    4. Critically evaluate how Australian security policy is made.
    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
    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
    3, 4
    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
    3, 4
    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
    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
    1, 3
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Readings will be provided via 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 tutorials. 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. The tutorials 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.

    In addition to three hours of class time (two hours of lectures, one of tutorials) each week, you should spend at least five hours doing your course readings and preparing your assignments each week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Indicative weekly topics:

    Week 1 – Australia as a ‘middle power’ in the ‘Indo-Pacific’

    Week 2 – Making and implementing Australian strategic and foreign policy

    Week 3 – The great powers: US and China

    Week 4 – The ‘upper middle’ powers: India and Japan

    Week 5 – Flashpoints: Korean Peninsula and South China Sea

    Week 6 – Southeast Asia

    Week 7 – The Pacific Islands

    Week 8 – Multilateralism

    Week 9 – New security domains

    Week 10 – Challenges in the ‘grey zone’

    Week 11 – Home affairs

    Week 12 – Existential threats
  • 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
    Tutorial participation 10%
    Op-ed (1000 words) 20%
    Policy recommendation (1000 words) 20%
    Final take-home (open book) exam 50%
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Apart from tutorial participation, assessment 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.

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