• Offered by Department of Pacific Affairs
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies

This course is available for in-person and remote (online) learning. Remote (online) and in-person students participate together in the same class.

Students will spend two weeks in Fiji undertaking learning with USP peers and leveraging ANU’s strong connections in the region to obtain hands on experience working with three leading regional institutions – the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and the Pacific Community (SPC). Students will be exposed to issues that are of direct relevance to Australia’s regional interests, and examine the main theoretical approaches to Pacific development such as postcolonialism and development economics and how they affect development policy in the Pacific. Students will have an unique opportunity to experience policy-making and diplomacy in action from inside some of the region’s most important organisations. Case studies will allow students to explore Pacific development theory and issues that have been identified as priorities by Pacific leaders, including climate change, security, gender, and economic development. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing our neighbours and of the complexity involved in regional approaches to policymaking.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key theoretical perspectives that have been developed to understand development and diplomacy in the Pacific, and an appreciation of how individual theories have evolved in relation to policy making in the Pacific.
2. Identify and discuss key debates in Pacific development theory and regional policymaking, and apply these to different case studies
3. Identify and discuss different approaches to regional diplomacy in the Pacific and apply these to different case studies
4. Analyse critical contemporary environmental, political, economic and social development challenges in the Pacific region
5. Demonstrate advanced skills in critical thinking, reading, writing and oral presentation

Indicative Assessment

1. Pre-departure quiz (20%) - This online quiz is based on understanding of key concepts, the research activity and the risk management policies and procedures discussed in the compulsory pre-departure training, and short answer questions based on issues discussed during the pre-departure roundtable seminar. [LO 4]
2. Participation (10%) - This assessment is based on students engagement in the course including participation in seminars both at the ANU and at USP. Each student will be assessed by field school academics (5%) and USP academics (5%). [LO 2,3,5]
3. Briefing (25%)This briefing includes a presentation (10 minutes); a critical reflections piece (2,500 words) based on their experience of the field school and feedback from peer respondent. [LO 2,3,5]
4. Research project - report (45%) - This 6,000 word research report will be based on a case study relating to an environmental, political, economic or social development issue in regional policymaking. [LO 1-4]

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.


120 hours – 78 contact hours (including 64 hours in-country component and 14 hours for pre- and post-travel workshops), 42 hours of library/online work.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the Department of Pacific Affairs to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Prior to the in-country fieldschool component, students will have a set of required readings to complete and will be provided with additional supplementary readings. As there is no suitable textbook for this course, the readings will draw on a range of sources.

Preliminary Reading

An indicative list of readings is below:

Required readings:
Aqorau, Transform. 2016. State of the Pacific – Slippery Slopes and Rough Rides in Regional Cooperative Endeavours in the Islands. SSGM Discussion paper 8. Canberra: State, Society and Governance in Melanesia, ANU.
Carter, George. 2015. ‘Establishing a Pacific Voice in the Climate Change Negotiations.’ In The New Pacific Diplomacy, eds Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte. Canberra: ANU Press.
Dornan, Matthew and Tess Newton Cain. 2014. Regional Service Delivery among Pacific Island Countries: An Assessment. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 1(3): 541-560.
Fry, Greg and Sandra Tarte. 2015. 'The 'New Pacific Diplomacy': An Introduction.' In The New Pacific Diplomacy, eds Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte. Canberra: ANU Press.
Lawson, Stephanie. 2016. ‘Regionalism, Sub-Regionalism and the Politics of Identity in Oceania.’ Pacific Review 29(3): 387-409.
Tarte, Sandra. 2014. ‘Regionalism and Changing Regional Order in the Pacific Islands.’ Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 1(2): 312-324.
Taylor, Meg. 'The Future of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.' In The New Pacific Diplomacy, eds Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte. Canberra: ANU Press.

Additional supplementary readings:
Baker, Nicola. 2015. ‘New Zealand and Australia in Pacific Regionalism.’ In The New Pacific Diplomacy, eds Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte. Canberra: ANU Press.
Baldacchino, Godfrey. 2004. ‘Autonomous but Not Sovereign? A Review of Island Sub-Nationalism.’ Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 31: 77-91.
Carter, George and Stewart Firth. 2016. ‘The Mood in Melanesia after the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.’ Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 3(1): 2016.
Connolly, Peter J. 2016. 'Engaging China's New Foreign Policy in the South Pacific.' Australian Journal of International Affairs 70(5): 484-505.
Firth, Stewart. 1989. 'Sovereignty and Independence in the Contemporary Pacific.' The Contemporary Pacific 1(1-2): 75-96.
Firth, Stewart. 2000. ‘Decolonisation’. In Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History, ed. Robert Borofsky. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 314-332.
Firth, Stewart. 2013. 'The New Regionalism and its Contradictions.' In Intervention and State-Buikding in the Pacific: The Legitimacy of Co-operative Intervention, eds Greg Fry and Tarcisius Kabutaulaka. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Fisher, Denise. 2013. France in the South Pacific: Power and Politics. Canberra: ANU Press.
Fry, Greg and Sandra Tarte (eds). The New Pacific Diplomacy. Canberra: ANU Press.
George, Nicole. 2016. 'Institutionalising Women, Peace and Security in the Pacific Islands: Gendering the 'Architecture of Entitlements'?' International Political Science Review 37(3): 375-389.
Goulding, Nicollette. 2015. ‘Marshalling a Pacific Response to Climate Change.’ In The New Pacific Diplomacy, eds Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte. Canberra: ANU Press.
Guthrie, Karina. 2013. 'Aviation Regionalism in the Pacific.' Journal of Pacific History 48(3): 294-308.
Hannan, Kate and Stewart Firth. 2015. ‘Trading with the Dragon: Chinese Trade, Investment and Development Assistance in the Pacific Islands.’ Journal of Contemporary China 24(95): 865-882.
Larmour, Peter. 1994. ‘“A Foreign Flower”? Democracy in the South Pacific.’ Pacific Studies 17(1).
Lawson, Stephanie. 2013. '"Melanesia": The History and Politics of an Idea.' Journal of Pacific History 48(1): 1-22.
Mara, Ratu Sir Kamisese. 1997. The Pacific Way: A Memoir. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
PIFS. 2017. State of Pacific Regionalism Report 2017. Suva: PIFS.
Shibuya, Eric. 'The Problems and Potential of the Pacific Islands Forum.' In The Asia-Pacific: A Region in Transition, ed Jim Rolfe. Honolulu: Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies.
Titifanue, Jason, Jope Tarai, Romitesh Kant and Glen Finau. ‘From Social Networking to Activism: The Role of Social Media in the Free West Papua Campaign.’ Pacific Studies 39(3): 255-280.
Von Strokirch, Karin. 2003. ‘The Role of France in Pacific Islands Security.’ In Security in Oceania in the 21st Century, eds Eric Shibuya and Jim Rolfe. Honolulu: Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies.
Weir, Tony, Liz Dovey and Dan Orcherton. 'Social and Cultural Issues Raised by Climate Change in Pacific Island Countries.' Regional Environmental Change, July 2016.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

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Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4629 22 Aug 2022 02 Sep 2022 02 Sep 2022 30 Sep 2022 In-Person and Online N/A

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