• Class Number 9844
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Benjamin Day
    • Dr Benjamin Day
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

Why did the Soviet Union collapse? Why did the United States invade Iraq in 2003? Why has North Korea pursued a nuclear weapons program, despite almost universal condemnation? Why would China seek to expand its influence around the Asia-Pacific? And how does Australia pursue its overseas aid policy? Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is the subfield of International Relations that seeks to explain foreign policy behaviour. In order to answer questions like those posed above, this course surveys the subfield of FPA, introducing its key concepts, modes of analysis and classic texts. By doing so, the course aims to equip students with tools to systematically investigate and analyse who and what matters in making foreign policy, as well as when particular factors are most likely to exert influence on foreign policy outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand how the Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) subfield relates to the broader discipline of International Relations;
  2. Demonstrate a strong grasp of the history, key texts, and research priorities of FPA;
  3. Show an awareness of the pressures, constraints and incentives that affect foreign policy decision-makers;
  4. Display an ability to critically assess the concepts, debates, and key issues of FPA and effectively communicate their thinking on these issues.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
2 Seminar 1 (31 July): Introducing Foreign Policy Analysis
3 Seminar 2 (7 August): Cognitive Biases & Decisionmaking
4 Seminar 3 (14 August): Personality of Leaders
5 Seminar 4 (21 August): Small Group Dynamics
6 Seminar 5 (28 August): Bureaucratic Politics
7 Seminar 6 (18 September): Public Opinion & the Media
8 Seminar 7 (25 September): Interest Groups
9 Seminar 8 (2 October): Culture & National identity
10 Seminar 9 (9 October): National Attributes The in-class Exam is conducted as part of Seminar 9
11 Seminar 10 (16 October): The International System
12 Seminar 11 (23 October): Linking Levels of Analysis

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short Essay 30 % 26/08/2019 04/08/2019 1,2,3,4
In-class Multiple Choice/Short Answer Exam 20 % 09/10/2019 23/10/2019 1,2
Take-home Exam 50 % 04/11/2019 30/11/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 26/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Short Essay

During the lead-up to the United States Presidential Election in November 2016, now-President Donald Trump’s “extreme personality” was a prominent topic in the media. The prospective implications of Trump’s psychology for the functioning of White House decision making processes were regularly speculated upon, notably by Dan P. McAdams in a psychological portrait published in The Atlantic in June 2016. Now that Trump has occupied the White House for a significant period of time, we are in a position to make an… assessment of how Trump’s personality has impacted the conducted of foreign policy decisionmaking during his presidency.

Your task in this essay is to choose one of the four aspects of Trump’s personality (his disposition, his mental habits, his motivations or his self-conception) examined by McAdams and critically assess how it is impacting foreign policy decisionmaking dynamics in the Trump White House.

Your essay should draw on contemporary accounts of the Trump White House and provide specific evidence about how Trump’s personality has influenced (or potentially influenced) foreign policy decisionmaking. Evidence can be drawn from sources including Trump’s speeches and interviews, insider accounts and newspaper reports. You might like to consider focusing on a single foreign policy decision, such as the decision to launch airstrikes on Syria or foreign policy personnel decisions. Alternatively, you may wish to track how an aspect of Trump’s personality has impacted a range of his administration’s foreign policy decisions over time.

*NOTE: a list of relevant articles to consider in preparing this essay will be posted on the course Wattle site and updated during the Semester.

The short-essay is due at 11:55pm on Monday… 26th August.

The word count for this piece of assessment is 1500 words

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 09/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

In-class Multiple Choice/Short Answer Exam

An in-class Multiple Choice/Short Answer Exam will be administered in class in Week 10 (on 9 October). The exam will cover material from Part I & II of the course.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 04/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Take-home Exam

A take-home exam will be issued at 1pm on Friday 1 November and is due at 11.55pm on Monday 5 November. The take-home exam consists of one question which all students must answer. The question is:

Why did the United States decide to invade Iraq in 2003?

You are to respond to this question using the Foreign Policy Analysis literature. You must nominate what you consider to be the three most important factors that led to this decision. Your response will justify your choice of factors, account for how they influenced the decisionmaking process and analyse how these factors interacted in leading to the decision to invade.

The Word Count for this piece of assessment is 3000 words.

*NOTE: Please be aware that NO LATE SUBMISSIONS can be accepted for this piece of assessment. If you fail to submit your exam by the deadline, you will receive a grade of zero.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Benjamin Day

Research Interests

Foreign Policy Analysis, International Development, Decision making, Agenda-setting

Dr Benjamin Day

Wednesday 13:00 15:00
Dr Benjamin Day

Research Interests

Dr Benjamin Day

Wednesday 13:00 15:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions