• Class Number 7355
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kerryn Baker
    • Dr Kerryn Baker
  • 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

The Pacific Islands region, on Australia’s doorstep, is a region of diverse political traditions, complex developmental challenges and continuing strategic importance. Australia is the region's largest aid donor, reflective of a close - but contested - relationship. This course provides an overview of contemporary political and developmental issues in the region, including ongoing processes of decolonisation, coups and constitutional crises, and the existential threat of climate change. It also examines how the politics of aid plays out in an evolving geostrategic environment, as China becomes an increasingly influential regional player.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and discuss key debates and theories in Pacific politics and development and apply these to different case studies
  2. Identify and discuss different approaches to politics, aid and development in the region and apply these to different case studies
  3. Analyse critical contemporary political and developmental challenges in the region
  4. Demonstrate advanced skills in critical thinking, reading, writing and oral presentation

Research-Led Teaching

This course is based on case studies and research conducted by Pacific experts in the Department of Pacific Affairs in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. The lectures, seminar discussions and assessments will help students gain a better understanding of how politics is practised based on current research.

Required Resources

There is no textbook for this course; all required readings (4 per week) are available on Wattle.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

·       Written comments on assessments (concept review, presentation and essay)

·       Verbal comments on assessments (on request)

·       Feedback to the whole class

·       Feedback to individuals

Feedback on written assignments will be available through Turnitin.

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 to PASI8005: Political Systems and Dynamics in the Pacific
2 Independence, Interdependence and Flexible Sovereignty in the Pacific
3 Change and Continuity in Pacific Politics Policy brief
4 Regional Politics in the Pacific
5 Australia in the Pacific
6 China in the Pacific
7 The Politics of Aid in the Pacific/Defining Development
8 The Good Governance Agenda
9 Gender, Aid and Development
10 Economic Development
11 Security and Development
12 Overview: The Politics of Aid and Development in the Pacific
13 Exam period Essay Take Home Exam

Tutorial Registration

Please sign up for a seminar on Wattle before week 1: options are Tuesday 5pm-6pm (online) or Thursday 5pm-6pm (Coombs Seminar Room F)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation (10%) 10 % 29/10/2021 01/12/2021 1, 4
Policy brief (25%) 25 % 15/08/2021 23/08/2021 1, 3, 4
Online Test (25%) 25 % 04/11/2021 12/11/2021 1, 2, 3, 4
Final Essay (40%) 40 % 21/11/2021 01/12/2021 1, 2, 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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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: 29/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4

Participation (10%)

This assessment will be based on contributions to seminar discussion throughout the semester.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 15/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 23/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4

Policy brief (25%)

This subject of the policy brief should be the impacts of a key issue facing the Pacific region (or one Pacific state in particular), with a focus on how the Australian government should respond, and what aspects it should prioritise. It should be written for a policy audience, and include key recommendations. Some example policy briefs, the marking rubric, and other resources are available on Wattle.

Possible topics include:

  • The impacts of COVID-19 (regionally, or one-country focus)
  • Climate change
  • The Bougainville referendum
  • The constitutional crisis in Samoa

Word limit: 1,000 words (excluding references)

Value: 20%

Estimated return date for policy briefs submitted on time: 23 August

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 12/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Online Test (25%)

The online test will consist of 10 questions. You will be required to choose four to answer. Answers should be approximately 250 words, and no references are required. The online test will be open on Wattle from 9am on Thursday 28 October, and you must have completed it by 11.59pm on Thursday 4 November. Once you have started the test, you will have 90 minutes to complete it. Marks from the online test will be available before the due date of the final essay.

Value: 20%

Return date: 12 November

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 21/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4

Final Essay (40%)

You will be required to write a 2500 word research essay on one of the themes below. The topic should be analysed with reference to one or more case studies of your choice (issues, people, organisations or countries).

  1. Australian development policy in the Pacific: past trends and future directions
  2. Development advocacy in the Pacific: strategies and lessons learned
  3. South-south cooperation in the Pacific: an alternate pathway to development?
  4. The Blue Pacific: Pacific agency and strategy in international relations

You are able to write the essay on an alternate theme, but this must be discussed with the course convenor before submitting.

Due date: 21 November

Value: 50%

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

Hard copy submission is not required for this course.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. 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 the online test.

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 Kerryn Baker
ext 51215

Research Interests

Dr Kerryn Baker

By Appointment
Dr Kerryn Baker
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Kerryn Baker

By Appointment

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