- Code NSPO8049
- Unit Value 3 units
- Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject National Security Policy
- Areas of interest Security Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Prof Rory Medcalf
- Mode of delivery In Person
Autumn Session 2021
See Future Offerings
In 2021, the class dates for this course are April 8, 9 and 23.
National security is about the nexus of international and domestic security, and Australia’s security is bound up with its region, increasingly defined by governments as the Indo-Pacific.
This course thus introduces students to the challenges and choices facing national security policy-makers in an era of connectivity and contestation across the Pacific and Indian oceans. The debate about the Indo-Pacific as a coherent regional framework will be introduced, along with implications for the security interests of key regional powers, notably China, India, Japan, Indonesia, the United States and Australia. The interstate and transnational dimensions of Indo-Pacific security challenges will be considered, including how risks related to climate change, maritime resource management, pandemics and piracy connect with interstate competition.
In keeping with the National Security College signature pedagogy, this course will integrate academic expertise and the perspectives of senior policy practitioners. It will draw on resident expertise in National Security College and Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. The course will conclude with a geopolitical risk scenario, in which students represent the national security interests of multiple countries to present policy responses that integrate strategic, economic, diplomatic and narrative dimensions. This 3-unit course also serves to introduce students to options for deeper study on related topics in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the interactions and interests of key powers across the regional security environment
- Analyse how these strategic factors intersect with one another and with economic factors in shaping a complex regional security dynamic involving cross-cutting interstate and transnational security issues
- Evaluate the risks and advantages of various security policy options, including degrees of cooperation or competition, in responding to complex regional security challenges
- Generate ideas for credible policy options in managing complex regional security challenges in the Indo-Pacific, and communicate those ideas for professional and scholarly audiences.
- Indo-Pacific strategic background document: 2000 words (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- ‘Lessons learned’ debrief on scenario (1000 words) (40) [LO 3,4]
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Three days of contact hours, structured as:
Day 1: three seminars including discusson with policy practitioners
Day 2: two seminars including extended discussion with policy practitioners
Two-week break for assessment preparation and marking
Day 3: risk scenario exercise (preparation, exercise, reflection and preparation for final assessment item)
Requisite and Incompatibility
Frances Adamson, ‘Shaping Australia’s role in Indo-Pacific security in the next decade’, ANU Women in International Security Series (speech), October 2018.
Brendan Taylor, ‘Is Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy an Illusion?’ International Affairs, Vol. 96, No. 1, January 2020.
Brendan Sargeant, ‘The place of the Pacific islands in the Indo-Pacific’, The Strategist, July 2019.
Priya Chacko (ed.), New Regional Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific: Drivers, Dynamics and Consequences, London: Routledge, 2016.
Rory Medcalf, Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China Won’t Map the Future, Melbourne: La Trobe University Press, 2020.
Kai He, Huiyun Feng, ‘The institutionalization of the Indo-Pacific: problems and prospects’, International Affairs, Vol. 96, No. 1, January 2020.
Anthony Bergin, David Brewster, Paul Barnes and Francois Gemenne, ‘Environmental security in the eastern Indian Ocean, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: A risk mapping approach’, ANU National Security College report, 2019.
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