• Class Number 9706
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kerryn Baker
    • Dr Stewart Firth
  • 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

The success of politics and political systems in the Pacific Islands is measured by their capacity to deliver development in poor states. We explore this dynamic by looking at the politics of development and the development of politics. In the first half we examine the politics of development, with reference to the impact of colonialism, decolonisation and secessionism; the place of the Island countries in international politics, especially in relation to the rise of China in the Pacific and the response of the USA; the political impact of official development assistance; and tensions between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ modes of governance. In the second half we investigate the development of politics, including attempts to engineer development outcomes via constitutions and electoral systems; intervention in Island countries by outside powers such as Australia; the phenomenon of state-building, particularly in ethnically divided societies; and women’s representation in politics.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. understand the diversity of the Pacific region, including its political institutions and prevailing cultures;
  2. produce a persuasive argument about the relationship between politics and development in the Pacific Islands; and
  3. demonstrate familiarity with the key debates about political challenges in the Pacific region

Research-Led Teaching

This course is based on case studies and research conducted by Pacific experts in the Department of Pacific Affairs in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. The lectures, seminar discussions and assessments will help students gain a better understanding of how politics is practised based on current research. 

Required Resources

There is no textbook for this course; all required readings (2-3 per week) are available on Wattle. Please ensure you have read the required texts before each tutorial. Recommended reading is also available on Wattle.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Feedback on assignments will be available through Turnitin.

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 Introduction to Pacific Politics
2 Decolonisation and Independence The Impact of Colonial Rule on Contemporary Politics Sovereignty & Independence
3 Regional Secessionism: Bougainville & New Caledonia The Bougainville Conflict & the Making of Peace Independence in the French Pacific
4 Sovereignty & Independence in the American Pacific & West Papua Migration and Development in the American Pacific The Struggle for Independence in West Papua
5 Politics in Western Melanesia Unbounded Politics in Western Melanesia Elections in Solomon Islands & Papua New Guinea First Essay
6 Democracy in Small States Democracy in Small States Politics in Samoa & Tonga
7 Fiji: Coups, Constitutions & Democracy Rights, Representation & Legitimacy in Fiji Politics The Military & Democracy in Fiji
8 Issues of Representation in the Pacific Religion & Politics Women's Representation in Pacific Parliaments
9 ICT and Democracy in the Pacific Mobile Phones & Elections in the Pacific The Impact of Social Media on Pacific Politics
10 Climate Change in the Pacific Islands Climate Change as a Political Issue Pacific Diplomacy on Climate Change
11 The Pacific Islands in International Relations External Players and Regional Relations China in the Pacific Islands
12 Conclusion: The Region in Review Trends in Pacific Politics The Pacific Islands in a Changing International Environment Second Essay
13 Exam Period Take Home Exam

Tutorial Registration

Please register for tutorials on Wattle prior to Week 2

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
First Essay 30 % 23/08/2019 30/08/2019 1,2,3
Second Essay 40 % 25/10/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3
Take Home Exam 30 % 01/11/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3

* 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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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: 23/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

First Essay

The first essay is due by 11.59pm on Friday 23 August and should be submitted online through Turnitin. Essay questions are available on Wattle.

Word Limit: 2,000 words

Value: 30%

Presentation requirements: The essay should be 2,000 words long, exclusive of References, Bibliography and Appendices, with a 5 cm. left-hand margin, and printed in 12 point, double-spaced. It must also conform to literary, grammatical and spelling standards appropriate to a considered analysis intended for assessment, and produced by an ANU undergraduate.

Estimated return date for essays submitted on time: 30 August

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Second Essay

The first essay is due by 11.59pm on Friday 25 October and should be submitted online through Turnitin. Essay questions are available on Wattle.

Word Limit: 2,500 words

Value: 40%

Presentation requirements: The essay should be 2,500 words long, exclusive of References, Bibliography and Appendices, with a 5 cm. left-hand margin, and printed in 12 point, double-spaced. It must also conform to literary, grammatical and spelling standards appropriate to a considered analysis intended for assessment, and produced by an ANU undergraduate.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 01/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Take Home Exam

Questions will be made available on the Wattle website of the course by 9am on 30 October and the completed short answer questions are due to be submitted through Turnitin by 11.59 pm on 1 November. There will be fifteen questions, and you will be required to answer ten of them. References are not required. Answers to each question should be 200-300 words. The take home exam is worth 30% of your final mark.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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).

Dr Kerryn Baker

Research Interests

Dr Kerryn Baker

Dr Stewart Firth

Research Interests

Dr Stewart Firth

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