International Policymaking in Practice

Subject POLS90034 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

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

120 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:


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.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should 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, (60%) due mid-semester, 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 (20%) due towards the end of semester, 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 (20%) due during the examination period.

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 submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. 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:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • apply research skills and critical methods in developing persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately;
  • write professionally in a variety of governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental policymaking contexts.
Related Course(s): Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration (Enhanced)
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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