• Class Number 7211
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Brandon Yoder
    • Dr Ben Goldsmith
  • 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

This course provides a broad introduction to the study of international relations. As a field of study, international relations focuses on the political, military, economic, and cultural interaction of state and non-state actors at the global level. The field therefore encompasses a diverse array of topics, from the causes of war to the politics of development, from international institutions to the environment. In this course, we begin by exploring the key concepts, foundational events, issues, and processes of international relations in order to provide the general knowledge and analytic tools necessary to understand, evaluate, and respond to a complex array of problems in the contemporary world.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. have a broad understanding of some of the most important ideas, issues and events in international relations particularly in the period since World War 1;
  2. have an enhanced appreciation of the contemporary international relations agenda;
  3. be able to better comprehend and articulate their thoughts on issues of major current significance;
  4. have developed stronger research, writing and analytical skills; and
  5. be well prepared for the comprehensive education in international relations offered by the School of Politics and International Relations.

Research-Led Teaching

This class incorporates cutting-edge theoretical developments and empirical findings from Dr Brandon Yoder and Professor Ben Goldsmith’s research as well as the academic fields in which they work. Dr. Yoder’s research focuses on contemporary US-China relations and East Asian regional dynamics more broadly. His academic interests also cover international security, interstate signalling, game theory and laboratory experiments. Professor Goldsmith’s research focuses on international relations theory, interstate conflict, foreign policy and domestic politics, soft power, and mass atrocities.


Research-led teaching is not simply about the research expertise that convenors bring to a course. It also includes the ways in which courses’ skills acquisition and assessment are designed to enable students to acquire sound knowledge-acquisition skills. To this end, the course’s activities have been designed around reading comprehension as a skill central to political analysis. Therefore, students read and prepare comments about core texts for discussion in tutorial. Evidence gathering is also a core research skill. To this end, students are alerted to many potential sources for information and evidence that can be useful for students’ simulation participation and response essay. Thoughtful analysis and presentation of research findings is a crucial core research skill, and therefore the course contains two essay assessments to provide students with an opportunity to practice those skills.  

Required Resources

Frieden, Jeffry A., David A. Lake, & Kenneth A. Schultz. 2019. World Politics: Interests, Interactions, and Institutions. International Student Fourth edition. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Company.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 the IR discipline No tutorials, sign up for them this week
2 Core concepts Tutorials start, assign roles for Syria simulation
3 Why is there conflict?
4 Domestic politics and conflict
5 International institutions and conflict
6 Non-state actors and conflict Midterm exam
7 International Political Economy political science writing
8 Politics of economic development Position paper due
9 International law and norms
10 The global environment
11 Human rights Response paper due
12 Conclusion

Tutorial Registration

Tutorials are required. Registration will occur through Wattle when the course site opens.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation 10 % Tutorial Participation
Response questions 10 % Weekly response questions
Midterm exam 20 % Midterm exam
Response paper 30 % Response paper
Final exam 30 % Final exam

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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.


See above


See above

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: Tutorial Participation

Tutorial Participation

Tutorial participation marks are based on your in-class contributions. Due to the larger-than-usual tutorial sizes, there are fewer opportunities per student to speak. As such, tutors will prioritize contributions from students who have not yet spoken that week. Since we cannot expect high-volume contributions from every student, grades will necessarily be weighted more toward quality than quantity. But we do expect everyone to make at least one contribution per tutorial, and your tutor will assess whether it's a mundane comment or one that shows real intellectual effort and insight and advances the discussion. Well-prepared students thus might want to, on occasion, “save your bullets” for a topic where you have something really good to say. Furthermore, to expand opportunities for participation, we will also count toward your grade good questions brought up in the live Q&A sessions and your contributions to small group discussions in tutorials.


In addition, 1% of the tutorial mark will be based on your timely submission (via upload to your Wattle forum) of a position paper (by 11:59pm on TBA). Students who submit the position paper will obtain full credit; those who do not will receive a 0. A description of the position paper assignment is on Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: Weekly response questions

Response questions

Weekly response questions on Wattle, designed to gauge your understanding of the assigned readings and lectures. For each week of the course, students are assigned to write a 1-2 paragraph response (limit: 300 words) to a short-answer discussion question in the weekly “response question” forum on Wattle. These are due prior to the start of your tutorial. They will be graded on a 0-3 point scale: 3 for complete, on-time submission, 2 for late submission (no expiry – if you miss a response, make it up for 2 points any time before the final exam!), 1 for superficial/inadequate response, and 0 for non-submission. Inadequate submissions can be revised and resubmitted later for an additional point.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: Midterm exam

Midterm exam

The midterm exam will evaluate students’ knowledge of the readings and course material and their ability to write a clear, coherent, and concisely argued essay about course material. Students will have 15 minutes reading time and 90 minutes to complete the exam. More information about the midterm will be available on Wattle and discussed during lecture and tutorial.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: Response paper

Response paper

The response paper’s main goal is to have you apply the theoretical frameworks and core concepts learnt in this course to a contemporary international challenge: the war in Syria. This paper will be largely based on your experience in the Syrian simulation exercise described at the end of this course guide, below. Details of the assignment, including a rubric, can be found on Wattle.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: Final exam

Final exam

The final exam structure will be discussed during lectures and in tutorial. Students will have a 15-minute reading period and a two-hour writing time. As per CASS policy, all exams are blind marked and they are not returned to the students, nor are comments provided. You may contact the conveners within 30 working days of the release of results to learn your specific exam mark, or to request an appeal.

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

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

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

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • 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 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. Extensions may be granted 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 Brandon Yoder
450 978 726

Research Interests

International security, US-China relations, East Asian regional politics, game theory

Dr Brandon Yoder

By Appointment
Dr Ben Goldsmith
2 6125 2408

Research Interests

Dr Ben Goldsmith

Tuesday 10:00 12:00

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