Australian governments have consistently identified the island chain to the north of Australia, ranging from Indonesia through the Pacific Islands to New Zealand, as the region from or through which a security threat to Australia could most easily be posed. As a result, Australia is engaged in extensive efforts to support stability and security in this region, which has been the site of significant Australian military deployments and policing operations, and remains a focus for Australia’s development expenditure. At the same time, recent years have seen a rise in engagement by ‘non-traditional’ powers in the Pacific islands, in particular China, which some observers have seen as threatening Australia’s interests in the region. This course critically analyses the security challenges facing this region and, in particular, Australia’s role in the security of the region. This includes cooperation on transnational crime and counterterrorism; intervention and stabilisation; criminal justice assistance; governance capacity-building; natural disaster response; and substantial development assistance. The course considers ways in which Pacific understandings of security differ from Australia’s, and the implications of this for Australia’s engagement with Pacific Island governments, security agencies and societies. It also assesses the outlook over the next decade for security in this strategically important and rapidly changing region.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Express a comprehensive understanding of the significance of the Pacific Islands for Australia’s national security.
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the security challenges facing the Pacific Islands, including the way these are perceived by Pacific Islanders.
- Display a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which Australian governments have approached securing the region over time, and critically evaluate these efforts.
- Conduct scholarly research, express ideas and construct evidence-based arguments in both written and oral form.
- Ministerial Briefing Note (20) [LO null]
- Crisis simulation position paper (20) [LO null]
- Research Essay (50) [LO null]
- Tutorial and crisis simulation participation (10) [LO null]
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Two hour lecture session per week for 12 weeks, and a one hour tutorial per week in weeks 2-9. Attendance in person is required for tutorials, and for the lecture periods in weeks 10-12, during which a crisis simulation scenario will be played out. There may also be some requirement for students to respond (briefly) in writing to developments in the crisis simulation outside the lecture periods in weeks 10 and 11.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Key readings will be provided via Wattle.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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