The Pacific Islands region, on Australia’s doorstep, is a region of diverse political traditions and complex developmental challenges. This course will use topical case studies to examine the social, historical and institutional contexts in which politics is played out in the Pacific. Students will gain an understanding of the historical roots of contemporary politics in the Pacific, and the continuing progress towards decolonisation in the region; the contested nature of democracy and political leadership in the region, and how ethnic divisions, religion, and gender impact on how politics is practiced; and how Pacific states operate in the international context and respond to key contemporary issues including climate change.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Identify and discuss key debates in Pacific politics and apply these to different case studies
- Identify and discuss different approaches to politics in the region and apply these to different case studies
- Analyse critical contemporary challenges in Pacific politics and international relations
- Demonstrate advanced skills in critical thinking, reading, writing and oral presentation.
- Concept review – Students are asked to select a key concept or theme relevant to Pacific Politics from a list of examples and provide a 1,500 word explanation of the concept, drawing on relevant literature. (20) [LO 1,4]
- A presentation on key political and/or developmental issues facing a particular Pacific Islands state, presented as part of a ‘mock Pacific Islands Forum’ (10) [LO 2,3,4]
- A 5000 word research essay on a topic related to Pacific Politics (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- A take home exam covering key themes of the course, in the exam period (20) [LO 1,2,4]
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120 hours – 36 contact hours, 84 hours of library/online work.
Each week students will have a set of required readings (usually 2-3 journal articles or book chapters) and additional supplementary readings. As there is no suitable textbook for this course, the readings will draw on a range of sources.
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- 6 units
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