• Class Number 4053
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Sinclair Dinnen
    • James Batley
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

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.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Express a comprehensive understanding of the significance of the Pacific Islands for Australia’s national security.
  2. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the security challenges facing the Pacific Islands, including the way these are perceived by Pacific Islanders.
  3. Display a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which Australian governments have approached securing the region over time, and critically evaluate these efforts.
  4. Conduct scholarly research, express ideas and construct evidence-based arguments in both written and oral form.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

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 Lecture: Introduction to the course and an introduction to the Pacific No tutorials this week
2 Lecture: Australia and the Pacific Tutorials
3 Lecture: Australia’s role in regional peacekeeping since 1980 Tutorials
4 Lecture: Contemporary security cooperation in the Pacific Tutorials
5 Lecture: China in the Pacific Tutorials
6 Lecture: The view from the Pacific: the significance of the Boe Declaration – climate change as a security issue Tutorials
7 Lecture: Papua New Guinea and Australia Tutorials
8 Lecture: Contemporary challenges: New Caledonia and Bougainville Tutorials
9 Lecture: Gender in the Pacific as a security issue Tutorials
10 Crisis Simulation exercise No tutorials this week
11 Crisis Simulation exercise No tutorials this week
12 Crisis Simulation exercise and course wrap-up No tutorials this week

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration is required. Registration will be available on the course site on Wattle .

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Ministerial Briefing Note 20 % 28/03/2019 12/04/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Crisis Simulation: Position Paper and Participation 20 % 30/05/2019 21/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Research Essay 50 % 06/06/2019 28/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Tutorial Participation 10 % 31/05/2019 31/05/2019 1, 2, 3, 4

* 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 Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

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: 28/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ministerial Briefing Note

Students will be asked to write a 1,000 word Briefing Note for the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on a topic which relates to Australia's security engagement with the Pacific. Details will be available in the first week of the course. Students will be provided with guidance on how to write a Briefing Note.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 30/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Crisis Simulation: Position Paper and Participation

Students will be assigned to work in groups. Each group will be designated to play the role of an Australian government agency, a foreign government agency, or other group as required from the basic scenario. (The number of groups will depend on the total number of students enrolled in the course.) The scenario sets out a situation in which the Australian government is required to respond to an evolving regional security crisis. Information will be provided to groups over the course of the full three weeks of the simulation.

The Crisis Simulation will run during (and between) the lectures in weeks 10, 11 and 12 and attendance at lectures in these weeks is compulsory for all students enrolled in the course. This exercise will give you the opportunity to put your learning into practice, to problem-solve issues arising from Australia’s attempts to secure the region and to develop a deeper understanding of the complexities of regional security.

During the final session of the Crisis Simulation each group will be required to discuss a Cabinet submission or position paper outlining how the agency or organisation they represent proposes to respond to the crisis being simulated, and then each student will write such a Cabinet submission/position paper of no longer than 1,000 words.

Students will be assessed individually on your participation in the Crisis Simulation, including the Cabinet submission/position paper which must be submitted online on Wattle. Students will be provided with guidance concerning how to write a Cabinet submission/position paper.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research Essay

Word Limit: 3,000 words

Presentation requirements: The essay should be 3,000 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. Questions for the research essay will be made available early in the semester. The essay should be submitted online using the course website on Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Tutorial Participation

Regular attendance at tutorials is expected. Participation will be assessed on the basis of individual participation in tutorials. Students should notify their tutor of any unavoidable absences. While every effort will be made to ensure that the same tutor is present for each individual tutorial session, there may be occasions on which different tutors stand in for colleagues.

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

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

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).
AsPr Sinclair Dinnen

Research Interests

Sinclair Dinnen: security and development in the Pacific region; legal pluralism; policing; conflict and peacebuilding; development assistance; and state-building. 

James Batley: Australia’s relations with the Pacific Islands, including interventions; governance in the Pacific islands in particular in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu; regionalism in the Pacific 

AsPr Sinclair Dinnen

James Batley

Research Interests

James Batley

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