• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies

This course looks at deception in public life.  It considers the nature of lying in public, the strategies used to deceive others, techniques for seeing through deceit, the reasons why many people seem to be pleased to be deceived, and the social and political consequences of deception. The course is interdisciplinary, with a core element of history. The focus is on the Asia-Pacific region, but topics and cases are also drawn from other parts of the world. We will examine the political circumstances in which untruth is an attractive strategy, the potential benefits and costs which it brings, and the shadowy lines between outright lies, distortion, misrepresentation, propaganda and spin. We will examine the manipulation both of particular events and of world views though indoctrination and propaganda, all with  sideways attention to the philosophical problem of determining what might constitute truth. We pay special attention to conspiracy as a form of lie which directly affects politics and to propaganda as a complex strategy for political manipulation. The course will consist of both theoretical lectures and lectures (some by guest lecturers) devoted to particular cases. Most of the (limited) theoretical writing about deception, conspiracy and propaganda is based on Western examples.  A major aim of this course is to enrich this literature by drawing on events and experiences from the Asia-Pacific region. 

Other Information

Prior assumed knowledge: some studies in Asian Studies, Arts or Law.

Indicative Assessment

One essay 3500 words (60%), short outline essay 400-500 words (10%), annotated bibliography (10%), class participation (20%).

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4 hours per week in 1st eight weeks of semester, mix of lecture and seminar formats
Asian Societies and Histories Program


Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed POLS2102.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2190
2005 $2190
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3240
2006 $3240
2005 $3234
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3367 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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