• Class Number 8040
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Cian O'Driscoll
    • Dr Cian O'Driscoll
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

World Politics 12 Units provides an introduction to the major concepts and issues in contemporary international relations. What is power? Who are the main actors in international affairs? What makes some nations great powers? Why does war occur and what does globalisation really mean? Through the course, students will evaluate and debate these ideas in the context of contemporary developments in world affairs. They will encounter and engage with a range of timely issues, including terrorism, failing states, strategic rivalry, global economic turbulence, and nuclear proliferation. As an introduction to the field of IR, the course also seeks to develop such skills as: how to read for argument, reasoning and evidence; how to construct an argument; how to structure an essay; how to conduct research; and how to engage in critical thinking.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the key concepts that influence the dynamics of world politics
  2. Understand the sources of these concepts and their historical development
  3. Use these concepts in order to critically research, analyse, and evaluate major issues in contemporary world politics
  4. Develop a clear awareness of accepted academic practice -- referencing, citation, written expression, and so on
  5. Develop skills for research, argument, and analysis in order to effectively communicate their own perspectives on key concepts and issues in world politics

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 9/11 and IR: Where do we Start?
2 The Coming Anarchy: What will cause WWIII?
3 Can we Escape the War Trap? The Promise of World Government Assessment Task 1: In-class Quiz 1
4 National Security: Time for a New Agenda?
5 The Trump Effect: Making America Great Again Assessment Task 2: Essay 1 Due
6 The EU and Brexit: Institutional Failings
7 Missing in Action: Where are the Women in IR?
8 World on Fire: Confronting Climate Change Assessment Task 3: In-class Quiz 2
9 Build that Wall! Borders, Biopolitics, and the Refugee Crisis
10 The War on Terror: A Just War?
11 Decolonizing the Curriculum: Occupy IR
12 Conclusion: What Have We Forgotten? Assessment Task 4: Essay 2 Due

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
In-class Quiz 1 10 % 11/08/2020 18/08/2020 1,2
Essay 1 (3,500 words) 30 % 26/08/2020 09/09/2020 1,3
In-class Quiz 2 10 % 26/09/2020 06/10/2020 4,5
Essay 2 (3,500 words) 30 % 14/10/2020 28/10/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Presentation 20 % * * 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 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: 10 %
Due Date: 11/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 18/08/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

In-class Quiz 1

There will be ten multiple choice questions relevant to the readings and lectures from Week 1 to Week 4.

The quiz will take place in Session 5, in-class

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 26/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 09/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Essay 1 (3,500 words)

Students are required to submit an essay response to one of these questions:

1.     Did 9/11 change the world forever, and can IR theory help us make sense of it?

2.     Is nuclear war likely to happen in our lifetime, or is its threat exaggerated?

3.     World government is a desirable but impossible goal. Discuss.

4.     Is the human security agenda a transformative idea or just a lot of hot air?

5.     Did the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal make the world a safer or a more dangerous place?

6.     Has Feminist IR achieved its goals, or is there still work to do?

7.     Should climate change be treated as a security issue? Justify your answer.

To be submitted by Session 10.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 26/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 06/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 4,5

In-class Quiz 2

There will be ten multiple choice questions relevant to the readings and lectures from Week 10 to Week 14.

The quiz will take place in Session 15, in-class.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 14/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 28/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Essay 2 (3,500 words)

Students are required to submit an essay response to one of these questions:

  1. What are the best and worst articles you have read for this class? Putting these articles in conversation with one another, explain what your judgement is based on.  
  2.  Are there any topics that we should have discussed in this class but have omitted? Make a case for why that topic should be included on the curriculum for next year. 
  3. Is Alex Bellamy right to argue in his 2019 book, World Peace: And How to Achieve It, that world peace is achievable?
  4. This course reflects a settler colonial mindset and, as such, urgently needs to be decolonised. Discuss.  

To be submitted by session 20

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


Every student will be expected to give one presentation. These will involve a 10-minute “In the News” review of the topic under discussion and the circulation of a 500-word briefing document on the key readings.

The schedule for these presentations will be agreed between students and instructor.

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

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR 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 Cian O'Driscoll
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Cian O'Driscoll

By Appointment
Dr Cian O'Driscoll
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Cian O'Driscoll

By Appointment

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