• Offered by Department of Pacific Affairs
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies

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.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and discuss key debates in Pacific politics and apply these to different case studies
  2. Identify and discuss different approaches to politics in the region and apply these to different case studies
  3. Analyse critical contemporary challenges in Pacific politics and international relations
  4. Demonstrate advanced skills in critical thinking, reading, writing and oral presentation.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 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]
  2. 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]
  3. A 5000 word research essay on a topic related to Pacific Politics (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  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.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

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.


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
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
7355 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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