• Class Number 5829
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Cian O'Driscoll
    • Dr Cian O'Driscoll
    • Dr Ruji Auethavornpipat
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

Issues and Concepts in International Relations 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 Introduction
2 War
3 Race and War
4 Power
5 Power Revisited
6 Anarchy Assessment Task 1: Essay Plan
7 Hierarchy
8 Cooperation
9 Sexist Institutions
10 Democracy
11 Contestation
12 Order Assessment Task 2: Literature Review
13 Disorder
14 Sovereignty
15 Westphalian Eurocentrism
16 Security
17 Human Security
18 Justice
19 Class Presentation Assessment Task 3: Group Presentation
20 Conclusion Assessment Task 4: Research Essay

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Essay Plan 10 % 18/08/2021 25/08/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Literature Review 30 % 20/09/2021 04/10/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Group Presentation 20 % 14/10/2021 21/10/2021 3,4
Research Essay 30 % 21/10/2021 20/11/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Active course participation 10 % 19/10/2021 01/11/2021 1,2,3,5

* 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: 18/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 25/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Essay Plan

The essay plan will assist students in developing their argument, approach, and organisation of their research essay.

Word length: 500 words (+/- 10%, excluding bibliography and footnotes).

Due by 18 August 2021, 23:55. Submit to Turnitin.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 20/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 04/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Literature Review

The literature review is preparatory toward the essay, and should focus on the same subject. Its purpose is to assess the academic literature on that topic. It should provide the reader with an up-to-date view of the state of research on the subject, within international relations. The should use mainly academic sources (peer-reviewed academic articles and books), and should be organized to make clear what disagreements or debates structure the literature and indicate how the literature has grown and developed—that is, where there is emerging or established consensus.

Word length: 3000 words (+/- 10%, excluding bibliography and footnotes).

Due by 20 September 2021, 23:55. Submit to Turnitin.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 14/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 21/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Group Presentation

Group presentation will respond to the debate between mainstream and critical IR theorising. Students will also be required to submit a briefing note and PowerPoint slides prior to the presentation.

World length: 1000 words (+/- 10%, excluding bibliography and footnotes).

Due by 14 October 2021, 23:55. Submit to Turnitin.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 21/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 20/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

The research essay requires students to demonstrate their understanding of international relations through making clear and concise arguments in extended written form.

Word length: 3000 words (+/- 10%, excluding bibliography and footnotes).

Due by 20 October 2021, 23:55. Submit to Turnitin.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 19/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Active course participation

Course participation will be based on engagement with the reading material and contribution to discussions during the seminar.

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
Dr Ruji Auethavornpipat
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Ruji Auethavornpipat

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