- Code NSPO8047
- Unit Value 3 units
- Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject National Security Policy
- Areas of interest Security Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Prof Rory Medcalf
- Mode of delivery In Person
Autumn Session 2023
See Future Offerings
Available for on-campus & remote-online learning. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. In 2023 the class dates are 13, 14 & 15 June
How is security policy in Australia really made? This is a primer on the institutions, actors and their interaction – sometimes outside formal structures – that shape decision-making in Canberra on key issues related to national security. Policy practitioners will guide students through the intersection of politics, bureaucracy, intelligence and external influences, tying together this foundational knowledge in a policy simulation exercise in which students will formulate, and afterwards critique, a government response to a hypothetical national security problem.
This course takes advantage of the National Security College’s privileged access to the policy community, to share with students contemporary insights that are difficult to obtain from purely academic sources. In line with the NSC signature pedagogy, this course will be co-delivered by an academic and a policy practitioner. It will rely heavily on practitioner perspectives, including guest sessions with serving and former policymakers, parliamentarians and journalists. The academic course convener will ensure academic standards in assessment and maintaining conceptual linkages to more scholarly and research-oriented NSC courses.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the roles of the different institutions and actors in Australian national security policy
- Demonstrate a working understanding of the context, processes and challenges for national security policy development and implementation
- Begin critically analysing the practice of national security policymaking
- Develop and communicate ideas, analysis, and argument related to Australian national security policymaking in a range of forms for professional audiences.
- Analytical essay evaluating a policy case study against a simplified model of policymaking: 2000 words (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- ‘Lessons learned’ debrief report on policy simulation exercise: 1000 word (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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One day of seminars and discussions
One day program of briefings at Parliament House and government agencies
Two-week break for preparation of first assessment item
One day policy simulation (half day preparation, half day simulation exercise)
Second and final assessment item due one week after simulation.
Allan Behm, No Minister: So You Want to be a Chief of Staff? Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2015.
Catherine Althaus, Peter Bridgman and Glyn Davis, The Australian Policy Handbook: A Practical Guide to the Policy-making Process, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2018.
Julia Gillard, My Story, Sydney: Penguin, 2019. Chapters 9, 11 and 12.
Allan Gyngell, Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the World since 1942, Chapters 8 ad 9
Malcolm Turnbull, A Bigger Picture, Melbourne: Hardie Grant, 2020. Chapters 29, 34 and 35.
Kevin Rudd: The PM Years, Sydney: Pan Macmillan, 2018 chapters 5, 12, 34 and 35.
Russell Trood and Anthony Bergin, ‘Creative Tension: Parliament and National Security’, ASPI report, 2015.
At least one policy white paper or parliamentary committee report
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:
- 3 units
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