• Class Number 4184
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Benjamin Day
    • Dr Benjamin Day
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results


Why did the Soviet Union collapse? Why did the United States invade Iraq in 2003? Why does North Korea continue to pursue a nuclear weapons program, despite almost universal condemnation? Why would China seek to expand its influence in the Asia-Pacific? Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is the subfield of International Relations that seeks to explain foreign policy behaviour. In order to answer questions like those posed above, this course surveys the subfield of FPA, introducing its key concepts, modes of analysis and classic texts. By doing so, the course aims to equip students with tools to systematically investigate and analyse who and what matters in making foreign policy, as well as when particular factors are most likely to exert influence on foreign policy outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand how the Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) subfield relates to the broader discipline of International Relations
  2. Demonstrate a strong grasp of the history, key texts, and research priorities of FPA
  3. Show an awareness of the pressures, constraints and incentives that affect foreign policy decision-makers
  4. Display an ability to critically assess the concepts, debates, and key issues of FPA and effectively communicate their thinking on these issues

Research-Led Teaching

This course flows out of my research within the subfield of Foreign Policy Analysis, most notably my contribution to the text, co-authored with Valerie Hudson, 'Foreign Policy Analysis: Classis and Contemporary Theory'.

There is no required text for this course. All readings will be made available via wattle. However, the coruse closely follows the following text, which is available electronically from the ANU Library:


Hudson, Valerie M., and Benjamin S. Day. 2019. Foreign Policy Analysis: Classic and Contemporary Theory. Third Edition. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.


Available for students online via the ANU library at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/anu/detail.action?docID=5841893

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 Introducing Foreign Policy Analysis
2 Cognitive Biases & Decisionmaking
3 Personality of Leaders
4 Small Group Dynamics
5 Bureaucratic Politics
6 Public Opinion and the Media
7 Interest Groups
8 [No Seminar] MCQ Quiz (Assessment Itemt 2) conducted online on 28 April
9 Culture and National Identity
10 National Attributes
11 The International System
12 Linking Levels of Analysis

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short Essay 30 % 20/03/2023 31/03/2023 1,2,3,4
Multiple Choice Quiz 20 % 28/04/2023 05/05/2023 1,2,3,4
Research Essay 50 % 05/06/2023 * 1,2,3,4

* 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 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: 30 %
Due Date: 20/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Short Essay

Your short essay must respond to the question:


           Why did Russia decide to invade Ukraine in February 2022?


More specifically, in answering this question, your essay should identify which individual-level factor pertaining to Russian President Vladimir Putin you believe was most likely to have influenced the decision to invade. (For example, you might identify the presence of a particular cognitive bias as being crucial to the decision, or an aspect of Putin’s personality, or certain small group dynamics). Rather than an exercise in identifying the ‘correct’ answer, this essay offers you a chance to make the case for why you think a particular factor was the most influential and why you find the evidence for its influence the most compelling.  

*NOTE: a list of relevant resources to consider in preparing this essay will be posted on the course Wattle site. 

Length: 1,500 Words

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 28/04/2023
Return of Assessment: 05/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Multiple Choice Quiz

A Multiple Choice Quiz will be administed on Friday 28 April, in liu of the usual seminar time being a public holiday for ANZAC day. The exam will be administered via Wattle and cover material from Modules I and II of the course (from Seminar 1 through 7). Further details on how to prepare will be provided in class ahead of the quiz.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 05/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Essay

The question your research essay must response to is:


           Why did the United States decide to invade Iraq in 2003?


Your essay will respond to this question using the Foreign Policy Analysis literature. You must nominate what you consider to be the two or three most important factors that led to this decision. Your response will justify your choice of factors, account for how they influenced the decisionmaking process and analyse how these factors interacted in leading to the decision to invade. 

Length: 3,000 Words

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 Benjamin Day
6125 5744

Research Interests

Foreign Policy Analysis, International Development, Decision making, Agenda-setting

Dr Benjamin Day

Tuesday 16:00 17:00
Dr Benjamin Day
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Benjamin Day

Tuesday 16:00 17:00

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