• Offered by Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Diplomacy
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Pauline Kerr
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

The origins of diplomacy can be traced back to at least 4,500 years ago, when, in ancient Mesopotamia (now modern Iraq), sovereigns of political units (then tribes or city-states) sought recognition and communication with each other. These same processes are the core of contemporary diplomacy. But much has changed. The revolution in communications technology provides political units (now states and organisations) and global citizens with constant digital, verbal and visual connections in real-time. The impact of this change on diplomacy is a matter of much debate. By analysing continuities and changes in conceptualisations, structures, processes and practices of diplomacy this course invites students to develop their own arguments about the nature and value of contemporary diplomacy, at a time when managing national and global issues cooperatively has never been more critical.

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Analyse early practices of diplomacy and compare and contrast them with present practices
2. Understand key concepts, discuss counterfactuals, and evaluate changes and continuities in diplomatic structures, processes and practices from early to contemporary times and explain why, where possible, such changes and continuities take place
3. Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary diplomatic practice and suggest strategies for better practice
4. Analyse the conceptual and theoretical evolutions of diplomacy in order to explain whether, on the one hand, diplomacy can be theorised or whether, on the other hand, as some practitioners suggest, theories of diplomacy are either too difficult to establish or are, in any case, of little practical value
5. Analyse and critically evaluate the debate about the nature of contemporary diplomacy and whether or not the proposition that it can be understood as ‘complex diplomacy’ is apt.

Indicative Assessment

1. Podcast – 10%

2. Online discussion forum – 10%

3. Minute papers – 20%

4. Presentation – 20%

5. Written assignment – 40%

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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
2016 $3252
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4638
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9363 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 Blended N/A

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