• Class Number 5718
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In-Person and Online
    • Dr Cian O'Driscoll
    • Dr Cian O'Driscoll
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

Who are the main actors in international affairs? How do they shape political outcomes, and under what constraints? Why do wars happen and what drives globalisation? 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
  5. Effectively communicate their own perspectives on key concepts and issues in world politics through research, argument and analysis

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 Origins I: War
3 Origins II: Race
4 Structure I: Anarchy
5 Structure II: Hierarchy
6 Security I: Security Dilemma
7 Security II: Human Security
8 Power I: Realpolitik
9 Power II: Gender
10 Writing Workshop
11 Rest Day
12 Order I: International Society Assessment 2. Research Essay
13 Order II: Hegemony
14 Culture I: Norms
15 Culture II: Empire
16 Progress I: Cooperation
17 Progress II: Anthropocene
18 Justice I: Just War
19 Justice II: Pacifism
20 Presentations Assessment 3. Team Presentations
21 Conclusion
22 Assessment 4. General Essay

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Student Briefing 20 % 17/08/2022 24/08/2022 2,3,5
Research Essay 30 % 21/09/2022 28/09/2022 2,3,4,5
Team Presentation 10 % 13/10/2022 14/10/2022 3,5
General Essay 40 % 26/10/2022 04/11/2022 1,2,3,4,5

* 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: 20 %
Due Date: 17/08/2022
Return of Assessment: 24/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,5

Student Briefing

Each student will be tasked with providing a Briefing to the class for a single seminar. This will involve circulating a 1,000 paper that engages with the session’s thematic question. This paper should present the student’s considered response to the thematic question. It should develop a position in relation to the issue under discussion. The student will also be expected to present his/her position to the class in a ten-minute presentation. Every student will be expected to complete one Briefing. Topics will be allocated in Session One. This assessment is worth 20% of the overall mark.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 21/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 28/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Research Essay

Each student will be expected to complete a Research Essay on a seminar thematic question of their choosing. It is not permitted to submit a Research Essay on the same question as a Student Briefing. Research Essays are due prior to Session 12. They should be submitted via Turnitin. The word limit is 2000 (+/- 10%) and excludes bibliography and footnotes. This assessment is worth 30% of the overall mark.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 13/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 14/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3,5

Team Presentation

Group presentation will address the topic: What is missing from this course? Why ___ should be on next year’s syllabusTeams will be encouraged to engage this question via the debate between mainstream and critical IR theorising. Students will also be required to submit PowerPoint slides prior to the presentation. Teams will be arranged in Week One. Each presentation will be ten minutes with 10 minutes Q & A. All presentations will take place in Session 19. Teams will be selected in Session One. This assessment is worth 10% of the overall mark.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 26/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 04/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

General Essay

The research essay requires students to demonstrate their understanding of international relations through making clear and concise arguments in extended written form. The essay will be required to address the question: Is IR part of the problem or part of the solution? Discuss with reference to contemporary issues in international affairs. The essay will be 3000 words in length (+/- 10%), exclusive of bibliography and footnotes. It will be due by Session 22. This assessment should be submitted via Turnitin. It is worth 40% of the overall mark. 

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

Wednesday 17:00 18:00
Wednesday 17:00 18:00
Thursday 17:00 18:00
Dr Cian O'Driscoll
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Cian O'Driscoll

Wednesday 17:00 18:00
Wednesday 17:00 18:00
Thursday 17:00 18:00

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