International Policymaking in Practice

Subject POLS90034 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Undergraduate Level

Non Allowed Subjects:


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:


Ms. Estelle Parker

Subject Overview:

How is foreign policy made? What factors determine which issues and problems get priority government attention? What determines success or failure in areas such as conflict prevention and resolution, institutional design and reform, and arms control and other treaty negotiations? How do new ideas, and new approaches to problem solving, gain traction with international policymakers? What strategies are most useful in building support in the UN and other intergovernmental organisations? How much influence do non-governmental organisations and other civil society actors have in international policymaking? What are the frames of reference that policymakers bring to bear, the obstacles they confront, and the strategies and techniques of diplomatic persuasion they are most likely to find effective in moving issues forward? Case studies will include the Cambodian peace process, the development of Asia-Pacific economic and security architecture, the negotiation and implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and nuclear arms control treaties, the international response to genocide and other mass atrocity crimes, and conflict prevention and resolution in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.


On completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Develop a closer understanding of the way in which real-world international policymakers think and act;
  • Develop a specific understanding of the practical dynamics of conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security norm-building, and arms control treaty-making;
  • Develop the skills needed to become effective practitioners in foreign policymaking, both nationally and internationally.

A 3,000 word research paper, in form of a briefing to government for a UN conference on appropriate response to report and recommendations of a major high-level international commission (from an approved list) due week 6 (60%);

A 1,000 word paper in form of a ministerial or cabinet submission on an international policy issue (either provided scenario, or approved specific current issue) due Week 10 (20%); and

A 1,000 word paper in form of a (3 member team-prepared) NGO submission to government on an international policy issue (either provided scenario, or approved specific current issue) due during the examination period (20%).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment that is submitted after the due date and up to 10 working days late without an approved extension will be marked on a pass/fail basis only. Assessment that is submitted later than 10 working days will not be accepted or marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject reading pack, drawing inter alia on reports of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2001), High Level Panel on Threats Challenges and Change (2004), Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2009). Gareth Evans and Bruce Grant, Australi's Foreign Relations (MUP, 1995). and Gareth Evans, The Responsibility to Protect (Brookings Institution Press, 2008)

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to apply research skills and critical methods in developing persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • Ability to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately;
  • Ability to write professionally in a variety of governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental policymaking contexts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
100 Point Master of International Relations
100 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
150 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
150 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
200 Point Master of International Relations
200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management

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