• Class Number 6694
  • Term Code 2950
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Darren Lim
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/07/2019
  • Class End Date 15/08/2019
  • Census Date 12/07/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/07/2019
    • James Kitchin
    • Victor Ferguson
SELT Survey Results

Why has the unparalleled military might of the United States seemingly been insufficient to achieve its interests in the Middle East, while Russia appears to have achieved significant success in Europe? Does Chinas rapidly growing economy endow it with a potent economic instrument of power? Is the soft power of the West declining amid global financial crisis and domestic political turmoil? Who is winning the contest of great powers in the 21st century? This course focuses on puzzles like these, examining how power is accumulated and wielded in international relations, and the conditions under which its use can be successful. States are the primary focus of the course, and five primary modes of power will be studied: military power, economic power, institutional power, soft power and hegemonic power. The objective of this course is to provide the student with a broad and deep understanding of how power can be conceptualised, measured, and deployed in international relations, and the conditions for its successful use. The course considers a wide range of contemporary issues and case studies and will analyse both the capacity of and limitations on states to wield different types of power successfully.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. identify, compare and evaluate different types of power and instruments of power in international relations;
  2. analyse the conditions under which the use of different types of power deployed by states will succeed or fail;
  3. debate and evaluate different approaches to major issues;
  4. apply the various analytical frameworks relating to to the use of power to contemporary case studies; and
  5. develop and demonstrate sound research, writing and oral presentation skills.

Research-Led Teaching

The analytical framework used in the course is drawn from a recently published article by the Course Convenor. Several modules also draw up recently published work by the convenor, including on the topics of economic bargaining and inducements, information operations and hegemonic power.

Field Trips

Not applicable.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional costs associated with this course.

Examination Material or equipment

Details about the material or equipment that is permitted in an examination room will be outlined during the semester and on the course’s Wattle site. 

Required Resources

There are no assigned textbooks. Required and additional readings will be made available on the course’s Wattle page.

A large number of journals and periodicals exist that include the cutting edge developments of the discipline. Being familiar with these sources and surveying at least some of them regularly will assist you in this course.

American Political Science Review

American Journal of Political Science

Australian Journal of International Affairs

Chinese Journal of International Politics

Global Governance

Ethics and International Affairs

European Journal of International Relations

Foreign Affairs

International Affairs

International Organization

International Relations of Asia-Pacific

International Security

International Studies Perspectives

International Studies Quarterly

International Studies Review

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Journal of European Public Policy

Journal of Peace Research

Journal of Politics

Journal of Strategic Studies

Pacific Review

Perspectives of Politics

P.S. Political Science

Review of International Organizations

Review of International Political Economy

Review of International Studies

Security Studies


Washington Quarterly

World Politics

Staff Feedback

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

  • Students will receive feedback on their understanding of course materials via completing the online quizzes, and discussing the answers in the following class.
  • Additional feedback will be given on students' ability to apply the course concepts during "break out" sessions occurring each teaching day.
  • Written feedback on the research essay will be provided via 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.

Other Information

Additional referencing requirements

It is a requirement of this course that your essay conform to academic writing standards and referencing. As noted for the short analytical piece, please use footnotes (which contain the appropriate website address). For the research essay, the Harvard in-text author-date referencing style is preferred. You may contact the ANU Academic Skills and Writing Centre for further advice. For details about the Harvard citation style please see the ANU style guide website at https://academicskills.anu.edu.au/resources/handouts/referencingstyle-guides

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Class Introduction and Overview Mon 1 July, AM
2 Developing an Analytical Framework for Studying Power Mon 1 July, PM
3 Power and Interdependence: Economic Coercion Wed 3 July, AM
4 Military Coercion: Bombing to Win? Wed 3 July, PM
5 Bargaining Power: Inducements and Negotiation Fri 5 July, AM
6 Technological Power: Overcoming Asymmetry Fri 5 July, PM
7 Soft Power: The Trump effect Mon 8 July, AM
8 Information Operations: Statecraft in a Digital Age Mon 8 July, PM
9 Hegemonic Power: Contesting Global Order Wed 10 July, AM
10 War Fighting: Big Nations Losing, and Winning, Small Wars Wed 10 July, PM
11 Conclusions and Course Review Fri 12 July, AM/PM

Tutorial Registration

No tutorials

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
TAKE-HOME QUIZZES 20 % 03/07/2019 12/07/2019 1, 2, 4
TAKE-HOME EXAMINATION 35 % 19/07/2019 12/08/2019 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
RESEARCH ESSAY 45 % 15/08/2019 12/09/2019 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. 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: 20 %
Due Date: 03/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4


Due date: (1) Tue 4 July; (2) Thu 6 July; (3) Tue 11 July; (4) Thu 11 July.

Value: 20% of final grade (each quiz is worth 5%);

Estimated return date: 12 July 2019

There will be four take home quizzes during the semester (30 minutes each). They will be available on Wattle from 0800-2000 each of the four days (please see schedule above). Students may complete the quiz at any time during that 12-hour period. The format will be multiple-choice and true false. It will cover all materials (lectures and readings) up to that point, with an emphasis on the most recent lectures.

Each quiz counts towards 5% towards the final mark. Students who are unable to complete a quiz on the specified date and within the designated time window may apply for a deferred assessment in accordance with the conditions specified at http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferredexaminations

A maximum of one quiz can be deferred. Deferred quizzes will take place on Thursday 11 July 2019 (0800-2000), which means those students will need to complete two quizzes that day.

The answers to each quiz will be discussed in the following lecture. Accordingly, any students who take a deferred quiz will take a specially prepared quiz in which the entire course material will be testable.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 19/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Release date: Friday 12 July, 4pm

Due date: Friday 19 July, 12pm

Value: 35% of final grade

Word length: 1600 words

Estimated return date: 8 August 2019

This course’s final take-home exam will be released after the final class. It is the College policy that all exams are blind marked and they are not returned to the students, nor are comments provided. You may contact the conveners within 30 working days of the release of results to learn your specific exam mark, or to request an appeal. The structure of the final exam will be discussed during the final lecture.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 15/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Due date: Thursday 15 August, 3pm;

Word limit: 2,500 words

Value: 45% of final grade;

Estimated return date: 12 September 2019

There are two options. The primary option [Option A], which we expect most students to do, is a research essay (2,500 words) that provides a “power analysis” of an event or issue of international relations. A list of potential topics will be posted on Wattle no later than Tuesday 16 July. You must answer one of the topics we assign—you cannot make up your own question.

Your essay must utilise the analytical framework developed in week two and should thus do the following:

  • Analyse the policy context in which the sender state(s) seeks to wield power over the target(s). What is it, why is it important? What are the interests of the sender and the target? Specify how those interests diverge and what the sender is trying to achieve—what does “success” look like?
  • Analyse the resources and/or policy instruments used by (or available to) the sender that constitute the basis of its ‘potential’ power. Specify the mechanism of influence—how do the resources/instruments of the sender (potentially or actually) affect the target? How costly is it to deploy them vis-à-vis alternatives?
  • Shift your analytical focus to the impact on the target. What impact did the influence attempt have, and how did this affect the target’s decision-making calculus?
  • Analyse the target’s response. What resources/instruments can (or did) it deploy (if any) in response? Did it resist, acquiesce or do nothing?
  • Draw (tentative) conclusions based on your analysis which speak to the following question:
  • Under what conditions can the “sender” successfully wield power over the “target”?

The secondary option [Option B] is to write a research essay on one of a series of specific questions that will be released with the Option A topics. These questions will relate to power as studied in this course but do not utilise the analytical framework as closely as Option A. You must answer one of the questions we pose—you cannot make up your own question.

Assessment rubric:

  1. Understanding of course material: Demonstrated understanding and capacity to apply the core analytical concepts of the course (35%).
  2. Empirical command: Accuracy, relevance and depth of the empirical analysis (25%).
  3. Argument: Coherence and clarity (and potentially originality) of the analysis and/or argument (30%).
  4. Research: Quality and appropriateness of the research, including proper attribution and referencing (10%). 

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

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Late submission for take-home quizzes and exams is not permitted. For the essay, the policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted (essay only). 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.

Returning Assignments

Students’ written assessment will be returned via Turnitin.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Students may not resubmit assignments. 

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 Darren Lim
6125 3584

Research Interests

Economic statecraft; grand strategy

Dr Darren Lim

James Kitchin
6125 4521

Research Interests

James Kitchin

Victor Ferguson

Research Interests

Victor Ferguson


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