• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject International Relations
  • Areas of interest International Relations
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

The course examines the interface between ethics and culture in contemporary world politics. It first considers how ethics and culture are expressed by, and exercise influence on, states and other actors in world politics. Particular attention is given to the nature of moral communities and the tensions between universal and plural conceptions of what is ‘good'. What, for instance, are the points of conflict between cultural pluralism and human rights? The second major concern of the course is justice, focusing on restorative justice and the role of truth and reconciliation commissions in rebuilding societies emerging from conflict, the extent of obligations to distant strangers, and the political and moral challenges raised by foreign aid practices. The third area of concern is with legitimacy, representation and self-determination in cross-cultural political struggles. Examination of this is centred on indigenous peoples and the international indigenous movement. The course closes with discussion of the idea of a dialogue across cultures and how such dialogues might be realized in practice.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:



At the conclusion of the course students will be versed in the pressing ethical issues in contemporary politics. They will have developed perspectives on the role of rights, sovereignty and culture both generally and through the lens of indigenous peoples. They will also have investigated questions of justice and equality in international politics in order to gain perspective on both notions of the universality of human rights, and on those who disagree with those.

Other Information

Delivery Mode:

Semester 1 2013, on campus, seminar-style.  

Indicative Assessment

5,000 - 6,000 words of written assessment, comprising essays, seminar papers and an examination as deemed appropriate by the lecturer.

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8 hours per week: two for seminar attendance, and six for reading and writing. Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2015 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4350
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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