Australian Foreign Policy

Subject POLS30019 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours per semester. 1 x two hour lecture and 1 x one hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Undergraduate level

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Allan Patience, Prof Richard Tanter


Allan Patience:
Richard Tanter:

Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to Australian foreign policy, exploring its domestic and global contexts. It examines Australia's most important bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations in both historical and contemporary terms. It explores key themes including Australia's national identity, interests, security and prosperity, the Australia-US alliance, Australia's engagement with international organisations such as the UN, WTO, and G20, Australia's role as a regional power in the South Pacific, and Australia's increasing engagement with Asia. The subject also investigates key foreign policy issues on the contemporary Australian agenda including global climate change negotiations, human rights, overseas aid and asylum-seekers, trade and economic globalisation, transnational terrorism and arms control. Students who complete this subject will be equipped to articulate and debate the conceptual, analytical, and normative dimensions of Australian foreign policy.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Understand important global and domestic contexts within which states formulate and execute foreign policy;
  • Be able to identify historical and contemporary themes and developments unique to Australian foreign policy;
  • Understand Australia's key multilateral, regional and bilateral relations and engagements;
  • Be able to explain how Australian foreign policy-making has been affected by, and adapted to, the processes of globalisation;
  • Be able to critically discuss a number of central issues on the contemporary Australian foreign policy agenda, and be able to explain and evaluate government responses to them;
  • Work productively in groups.

  • An essay of 2000 words (50%) due mid-semester.
  • A 2000 word take-home exam (50%) due in the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Required subject readings will be available electronically via the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies

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