• Class Number 4844
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Rory Medcalf
    • Prof Rory Medcalf
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
    • James Mortensen
SELT Survey Results

This course aims to familiarise students with the challenges and choices facing national security policy-makers in an era of increased connectivity between the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The concept of the Indo-Pacific as a coherent strategic and economic system will be introduced, along with its implications for the security interests of key regional powers, notably China, India, Japan, Indonesia, the United States and Australia.  The interstate and transnational dimensions of the Indo-Pacific set of security challenges will be considered, including how they intersect – for instance, ways in which counter-piracy, maritime surveillance and other efforts to protect the regional commons may have strategic implications. The contested nature of the Indo-Pacific concept will also be explore, including the emerging debate about whether countries such as Australia need to focus their security capabilities and interests on wide or narrow definitions of the region. The course will conclude by assessing how a re-imagined view of Asia as the Indo-Pacific will affect prospects for security competition or cooperation.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.     Demonstrate understanding of the changes in Australia’s Indo-Pacific regional security environment 
2.     Demonstrate understanding of the interactions and interests of great powers, particularly the United States, China, India and Japan, across the Indo-Pacific environment
3.     Analyse how these strategic factors intersect with one another and with economic factors in shaping a complex regional security dynamic involving cross-cutting interstate and transnational security issues
4.     Evaluate the risks and advantages of various security policy options, including degrees of cooperation or competition, in responding to complex regional security challenges
5.     Generate ideas for credible policy options in managing complex regional security challenges in the Indo-Pacific

Required Resources

There is no single set text for this course. Each week there will be one or more required readings and several

additional background readings. Students are encouraged to identify new readings and to make use of recent

primary sources. The course Wattle site will contain copies of course readings, seminar notes or slides where

possible, notes about guest lecturers, administrative notices and podcasts of recorded lectures. Tasks will be

identified, and updated with details where appropriate, via the course noticeboard on wattle. All written course

assessment material, other than for the exam, will be made available on Wattle.

Nick Bisley and Andrew Phillips, 'A Rebalance to Where?: US Strategic Geography in Asia,' Survival, Vol. 55., No 5, Oct 2013.

David Brewster, India as an Asia-Pacific Power, Routledge, London 2012

Barry Buzan, 'Security Architecture in Asia: The Interplay of Regional and Global Levels,' Vol. 16 No. 2, 2003. The Pacific Review

Priya Chacko, •The Rise of the Indo-Pacific: Understanding Ideational Change and Continuity in India•s Foreign Policy, •Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 68, No. 4, August 2014.

Mohan Malik (ed.)Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific: Perspectives from China, India and the United States (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).

Rory Medcalf, 'The Indo-Pacific: What's in a Name?' The American Interest 9 (2), 2013.

Rory Medcalf, 'In Defence of the Indo-Pacific: Australia•s New Strategic Map', Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 68 No. 4, August 2014.

Rory Medcalf, 'Reimagining Asia: From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific,' Asan Open Forum, June 2015.

Rory Medcalf and C. Raja Mohan, 'Responding to Indo-Pacific Rivalry: Australia, India and Middle-Power Coalitions,' Lowy Institute Analysis, August 2014.

C. Raja Mohan, Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific, Washington DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2012.

Chengxin Pan, 'The "Indo-Pacific" and Geopolitical Anxieties about China's Rise in the Asian Regional Order,' Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 68 No. 4, August 2014.

David Scott, 'The "Indo-Pacific": New Regional Formulations and New Maritime Frameworks for US-India Strategic Convergence,' Asia-Pacific Review 19 (2), 2012.

David Scott, 'India and the Allure of the Indo-Pacific', International Studies, 49 (3&4), 2012.

Brendan Taylor, 'The Defence White Paper 2013 and Australia•s Strategic Environment,' Security Challenges, Vol. 9 No. 2. 2013

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
1 The Indo-Pacific debate: what's in a name?
2 From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific: Changing regional constructs from the 15th to the 21st centuries
3 Energy, trade, investment and security: economic-strategic linkages in the Indo-Pacific
4 National security interests in the Indo-Pacific: China Policy brief due
5 National security interests in the Indo-Pacific: India
6 National security interests in the Indo-Pacific: Japan and South Korea
7 National security interests in the Indo-Pacific: Indonesia and ASEAN
8 National security interests in the Indo-Pacific: The US Research essay due
9 Australian national security interests in the Indo-Pacific: a premium on partnerships?
10 Global security and the Indo-Pacific: Europe, Russia, Middle East
11 Security competition in the Indo-Pacific: transnational opportunities
12 Security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific: managing tensions and dynamics of Indo-Pacific coexistence

Tutorial Registration

Registration is not required

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Policy Brief (25%) 25 % 22/03/2019 04/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Research Essay (50%) 50 % 03/05/2019 17/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Take-home exam (25%) 25 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5

* 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: 25 %
Due Date: 22/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Policy Brief (25%)

1500 words, due 22/03/2019 at 11:55pm

You will be asked to write a briefing paper, intended for the government of Australia, the United States, China,

India, Japan, Indonesia or one other country (to be agreed on with the course coordinator). The paper will argue

a case for a policy direction to advance/protect the interests of that country in an Indo-Pacific strategic context.

The paper will need to identify the positives and negatives about the proposed course of action in terms of the

interests of the relevant country, and it will need to anticipate how other significant Indo-Pacific countries are

likely to respond. It will also need to include at least one practical policy recommendation. Some suggested

topics will be introduced in the first few weeks of the course, along with samples of policy writing.


Examples of past papers will be provided on wattle

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 03/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay (50%)

3000 words, due 3/5/2019 at 11:55pm

This should an original piece of research addressing one from a selection of questions that will be provided early

in the semester. Participants may propose their own question/topic in consultation with the course coordinator.

This essay will be assessed in terms of the quality of research as well as the standard of argumentation.




Is constructed in a way that enhances the argument made, methodology is thoughtful, clear and followed by the text

Clearly and persuasively makes a novel and insightful argument

Lucid, easily readable and well presentable text, free from obvious typos or formatting errors

Judiciously referenced, uses a wide variety of reputable sources, critically analyses evidence to support wider claims


Is constructed in a way that makes the argument clear, methodology is suitable and followed by the text

Clearly and persuasively makes an argument

Well written text presented clearly, few typos or formatting errors

Well referenced, uses a variety of reputable sources, some good analysis of evidence


Is constructed in a way that attempts to make the argument clear, methodology is suitable and is largely followed by the text

Clearly makes an arguement

Understandable text, basic presentation, a handful of textual or format errors

Adequately referenced, uses a variety of sources, displays some awareness of suitablity of sources chosen


Is constructed in a way that attempts to make the argument, methodology attempts to be coherent but is not always followed by the text

Attempts to make an argument that is appreciably cogent

Sometimes confusing textual style, inconsistent formatting, somewhat regular textual or formatting errors

Minimal referencing, few sources chosen beyond course material, little critical engagement with sources


Claims to have a structure but is largely incoherent, methodology consistently ill-applied or absent

Claims to make an argument that is not appreciably attempted, or makes no argument at all

Confusing textual style, poor formating, regular errors in text

Barely referenced, heavily reliant on a small number of sources, no critical engagement with sources used

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Take-home exam (25%)

1000-1600 words, held in exam period (final date and details TBA)

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

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).
Prof Rory Medcalf
6125 7507

Research Interests

Prof Rory Medcalf

Prof Rory Medcalf
6125 7507

Research Interests

Prof Rory Medcalf

James Mortensen
6125 8961

Research Interests

James Mortensen

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