• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Strategic Studies
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Jochen Prantl
    • Prof Chui Ling Evelyn Goh
    • Prof Daniel Marston
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2015
    Spring Session 2015
    See Future Offerings

The Special Topic is designed to showcase a new area of teaching for the GSSD Program and allow students to learn from visiting specialists at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre.  

Learning Outcomes

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

Winter Session 2015

The Role of Strategic Intelligence in a Democracy:

This course delves deeply into the nature of strategic intelligence, its contribution to national security policy formulation in a democratic system of government, and selected issues and challenges all nations face in the conduct of global intelligence operations in the modern era. In a well-functioning system, each of the individual elements of the classic intelligence cycle (i.e., requirements, collection, processing, analysis/production, dissemination, consumption, and feedback) work in unison to support “consumers”, usually national level policymakers. This relationship becomes complicated, however, when strategic intelligence resources are also called upon to support war fighters and even local law enforcement working to preempt terrorist attacks in major urban areas. Using a diverse body of literature and real-world case studies, students will better understand the capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses of strategic intelligence as an input to policy formulation. Along the way, the course also highlights the difficult ethical choices raised by many of the activities undertaken by strategic intelligence services. Strategic intelligence enables and facilitates application of the traditionally recognized instruments of national power, i.e., the “DIME” (Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economic). This course will explore this important tool in all of its major manifestations and complexity

Spring Session 2015

Strategic Diplomacy:

Strategy entails linking ways and means to achieve specific goals, while diplomacy is a vital means by a state navigates the paths chosen towards its identified policy ends. Strategic thinking is, however, not static and invariably reflects its milieu. The contemporary international order is marked by unprecedented complexity and uncertainty, and international relations are shaped by innumerable variables, with the capacity for sudden and dramatic change. Causality is not linear, and consequences are often disproportionately related to causes. Given the imperative of having to discipline and prioritise a panoply of risks and threats, the strategic underpinnings of diplomatic practice are more crucial than before. Yet, policy makers are increasingly faced with an infinite range of alternatives and uncertain consequences to choosing each alternative. Many states also no longer possess a compelling national narrative such as empire, religion, independence, or the Cold War on which to base their grand strategy. As a result, strategies are becoming themselves the sources of contestation and conflict, at both the national and international levels. In this course, we study what this new form of strategic conflict looks like, how is it managed, and with what effects. Our focus is on “strategic diplomacy” – the process by which state and non-state actors socially construct and frame their view of the world, set their agendas, and communicate, contest and negotiate diverging core interests and goals. Combining theories from diplomatic and strategic studies, and employing a range of significant international case studies, this course examines diplomacy undertaken with accentuated strategic rationale; as well as the diplomatic practices of contesting and negotiating conflicting strategic ideas.

Other Information

Delivery Mode:

On Campus

Indicative Assessment

Seminar Participation, 10%; Assignments, 50%; Exam 40%

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Students undertaking this course could expect a workload of 10 hours a week. This is inclusive of actual contact hours for lectures and also out of class preparation time.

Prescribed Texts

Core reading materials will be available as an e-brick


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

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
The Role of Strategic Intelligence in a Democracy
1601 03 Aug 2015 31 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 07 Aug 2015 In Person N/A

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
Strategic Diplomacy
1624 12 Oct 2015 01 Oct 2015 16 Oct 2015 16 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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