• 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
  • Course convener
    • Dr Benjamin Herscovitch
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2023
    See Future Offerings

Course available for on-campus & remote-online learning. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. 2023 class dates: 13, 14 Apr, 4 May

National security is about the nexus of international and domestic security, and Australia’s security is bound up with its region, increasingly defined by governments as the Indo-Pacific.

This course thus introduces students to the challenges and choices facing national security policy-makers in an era of connectivity and contestation across the Pacific and Indian oceans. The debate about the Indo-Pacific as a coherent regional framework will be introduced, along with implications for the security interests of key regional powers, notably China, India, Japan, Indonesia, the United States and Australia. The interstate and transnational dimensions of Indo-Pacific security challenges will be considered, including how risks related to climate change, maritime resource management, pandemics and piracy connect with interstate competition.

In keeping with the National Security College signature pedagogy, this course will integrate academic expertise and the perspectives of senior policy practitioners. It will draw on resident expertise in National Security College and Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. The course will conclude with a geopolitical risk scenario, in which students represent the national security interests of multiple countries to present policy responses that integrate strategic, economic, diplomatic and narrative dimensions. This 3-unit course also serves to introduce students to options for deeper study on related topics in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the interactions and interests of key powers across the regional security environment
  2. Analyse how these strategic factors intersect with one another and with economic factors in shaping a complex regional security dynamic involving cross-cutting interstate and transnational security issues
  3. Evaluate the risks and advantages of various security policy options, including degrees of cooperation or competition, in responding to complex regional security challenges
  4. Generate ideas for credible policy options in managing complex regional security challenges in the Indo-Pacific, and communicate those ideas for professional and scholarly audiences.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Indo-Pacific strategic background document: 2000 words (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. ‘Lessons learned’ debrief on scenario (1000 words) (40) [LO 3,4]

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Three days of contact hours, structured as:


Day 1: three seminars including discusson with policy practitioners

Day 2: two seminars including extended discussion with policy practitioners

Two-week break for assessment preparation and marking

Day 3: risk scenario exercise (preparation, exercise, reflection and preparation for final assessment item)

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are unable to enrol in this course if you have previously completed NSPO8023

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Frances Adamson, ‘Shaping Australia’s role in Indo-Pacific security in the next decade’, ANU Women in International Security Series (speech), October 2018.


Brendan Taylor, ‘Is Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy an Illusion?’ International Affairs, Vol. 96, No. 1, January 2020.


Brendan Sargeant, ‘The place of the Pacific islands in the Indo-Pacific’, The Strategist, July 2019.


Priya Chacko (ed.), New Regional Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific: Drivers, Dynamics and Consequences, London: Routledge, 2016.


Rory Medcalf, Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China Won’t Map the Future, Melbourne: La Trobe University Press, 2020.


Kai He, Huiyun Feng, ‘The institutionalization of the Indo-Pacific: problems and prospects’, International Affairs, Vol. 96, No. 1, January 2020.


Anthony Bergin, David Brewster, Paul Barnes and Francois Gemenne, ‘Environmental security in the eastern Indian Ocean, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: A risk mapping approach’, ANU National Security College report, 2019.



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

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $2160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3090
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
3542 13 Apr 2023 13 Apr 2023 21 Apr 2023 25 May 2023 In Person View
3543 13 Apr 2023 13 Apr 2023 21 Apr 2023 25 May 2023 Online View

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