• Class Number 6498
  • Term Code 3370
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Darren Lim
    • Dr Darren Lim
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 15/11/2023
  • Class End Date 20/12/2023
  • Census Date 24/11/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 06/11/2023
SELT Survey Results

Why has the unparalleled military might of the United States seemingly been insufficient to achieve its interests in the Middle East, while Russia appears to have achieved significant success in Europe? Does China's rapidly growing economy endow it with a potent economic instrument of power? Is the soft power of the West declining amid global financial crisis and domestic political turmoil? Who is winning the contest of great powers in the 21st century? This course focuses on puzzles like these, examining how power is accumulated and wielded in international relations, and the conditions under which its use can be successful. States are the primary focus of the course, and five primary modes of power will be studied: military power, economic power, technological power, soft power and hegemonic power. The objective of this course is to provide the student with a broad and deep understanding of how power can be conceptualised, measured, and deployed in international relations, and the conditions for its successful use. The course considers a wide range of contemporary issues and case studies and will analyse both the capacity of and limitations on states to wield different types of power successfully.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. identify, compare and evaluate different types of power and instruments of power in international relations;
  2. analyse the conditions under which the use of different types of power deployed by states will succeed or fail;
  3. debate and evaluate different approaches to major issues;
  4. apply the various analytical frameworks relating to to the use of power to contemporary case studies; and
  5. develop and demonstrate sound research and writing skills.

Research-Led Teaching

The analytical framework used in the course is drawn from a published article by the Course Convenor. Several modules also draw up recently published work by the convenor, including on the topics of economic coercion, bargaining and inducements, information operations and hegemonic power.

Field Trips

Not applicable.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional costs associated with this course.

Examination Material or equipment

Details about the material or equipment that is permitted in an examination room will be outlined in the first lecture and on the course’s Wattle site. 

Required Resources

There are no assigned textbooks. Required and additional readings will be made available on the course’s Wattle page.

A large number of journals and periodicals exist that include the cutting edge developments of the discipline. Being familiar with these sources and surveying at least some of them regularly will assist you in this course.

American Political Science Review

American Journal of Political Science

Australian Journal of International Affairs

Chinese Journal of International Politics

Global Governance

Ethics and International Affairs

European Journal of International Relations

Foreign Affairs

International Affairs

International Organization

International Relations of Asia-Pacific

International Security

International Studies Perspectives

International Studies Quarterly

International Studies Review

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Journal of European Public Policy

Journal of Peace Research

Journal of Politics

Journal of Strategic Studies

Pacific Review

Perspectives of Politics

P.S. Political Science

Review of International Organizations

Review of International Political Economy

Review of International Studies

Security Studies


Washington Quarterly

World Politics

Staff Feedback

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

  • Students will receive feedback on their understanding of course materials via completing the quizzes, and discussing the answers in the following class.
  • Additional feedback will be given on students' ability to apply the course concepts during the in-person seminars.
  • Written feedback on the research essay will be provided via Turnitin.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Additional referencing requirements

It is a requirement of this course that your essay conform to academic writing standards and referencing. As noted for the short analytical piece, please use footnotes (which contain the appropriate website address). For the research essay, the Harvard in-text author-date referencing style is preferred. You may contact the ANU Academic Skills and Writing Centre for further advice. For details about the Harvard citation style please see the ANU style guide website at https://academicskills.anu.edu.au/resources/handouts/referencingstyle-guides

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Class Introduction and Overview
2 Developing an Analytical Framework for Studying Power Seminar 1 (in-person): Mon 20 November 2023, 12:30-2:30pm
3 Military Coercion: Bombing to Win?
4 War Fighting: Big Nations Losing, and Winning, Small Wars Seminar 2 (in-person): Wed 22 November 2023, 12:30-2:30pm, QUIZ 1
5 Weaponised Interdependence: Economic Coercion
6 Bargaining Power: Inducements and Negotiation Seminar 3 (in-person): Fri 24 November 2023, 12:30-2:30pm, QUIZ 2
7 Soft Power: The Trump effect
8 Institutional Power: Contesting Global Order Seminar 4 (in-person): Mon 27 November 2023, 12:30-2:30pm, QUIZ 3
9 Technological Power: Overcoming Asymmetry
10 Information Operations: Statecraft in a Digital Age Seminar 5 (in-person): Wed 29 November 2023, 10am-12:00pm, QUIZ 4
11 Conclusions and Course Review Seminar 6 (in-person): Thu 30 November 2023, 10am-12pm.

Tutorial Registration

No tutorials

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
IN-CLASS QUIZZES 20 % * * 1, 2, 4
TAKE-HOME EXAMINATION 35 % 06/12/2023 13/12/2023 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
RESEARCH ESSAY 45 % 20/12/2023 * 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4


Due date: (1) Wed 22 Nov; (2) Fri 24 Nov; (3) Mon 27 Nov; (4) Wed 29 Nov.

Value: 20% of final grade (each quiz is worth 5%);

Estimated return date: Thu 30 Nov

There will be four in-class quizzes during the semester (30 minutes each). They will distributed at the beginning of that day's seminar. The format will be multiple-choice and true false. More information on content will be delivered in the first lecture.

Each quiz counts towards 5% towards the final mark. Students who are unable to complete a quiz on the specified date and within the designated time window may apply for a deferred assessment in accordance with the conditions specified at: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

A maximum of one quiz can be deferred. Deferred quizzes will take place in-person on Thursday 30 November 2023 (1pm-1:30pm).

The answers to each quiz will be discussed in the following lecture. Accordingly, any students who take a deferred quiz will take a specially prepared quiz in which the entire course material will be testable.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 06/12/2023
Return of Assessment: 13/12/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Release date: Wednesday 29 November, 4pm

Due date: Wednesday 6 December, 12pm

Value: 35% of final grade

Word length: 1,500 words

Estimated return date: Wednesday 13 November

The structure of the final exam will be discussed during the lectures and seminars.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 20/12/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Due date: Wednesday 20 December, 12pm

Word limit: 2,000 words

Value: 45% of final grade;

Estimated return date:

There are two options. The primary option [Option A], which we expect most students to do, is a research essay (2,000 words) that provides a “power analysis” of an event or issue of international relations. A list of potential topics will be posted on Wattle no later than Monday 4 December. You must answer one of the topics assigned—you cannot make up your own question.

Your essay must utilise the analytical framework developed in week two and should thus do the following:

  • Analyse the policy context in which the sender state(s) seeks to wield power over the target(s). What is it, why is it important? What are the interests of the sender and the target? Specify how those interests diverge and what the sender is trying to achieve—what does “success” look like?
  • Analyse the resources and/or policy instruments used by (or available to) the sender that constitute the basis of its ‘potential’ power. Specify the mechanism of influence—how do the resources/instruments of the sender (potentially or actually) affect the target? How costly is it to deploy them vis-à-vis alternatives?
  • Shift your analytical focus to the impact on the target. What impact did the influence attempt have, and how did this affect the target’s decision-making calculus?
  • Analyse the target’s response. What resources/instruments can (or did) it deploy (if any) in response? Did it resist, acquiesce or do nothing?
  • Draw (tentative) conclusions based on your analysis which speak to the following question:
  • Under what conditions can the “sender” successfully wield power over the “target”?

The secondary option [Option B] is to write a research essay on one of a series of specific questions that will be released with the Option A topics. These questions will relate to power as studied in this course but do not utilise the analytical framework as closely as Option A. You must answer one of the questions posed—you cannot make up your own question.

Assessment rubric:

  1. Understanding of course material: Demonstrated understanding and capacity to apply the core analytical concepts of the course (35%).
  2. Empirical command: Accuracy, relevance and depth of the empirical analysis (25%).
  3. Argument: Coherence and clarity (and potentially originality) of the analysis and/or argument (30%).
  4. Research: Quality and appropriateness of the research, including proper attribution and referencing (10%). 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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. Late submission for take-home quizzes and exams is not permitted. For the essay, the policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted (essay only). 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Students’ written assessment will be returned via Turnitin.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Students may not resubmit assignments. 

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 Darren Lim
6125 3584

Research Interests

Economic statecraft; grand strategy

Dr Darren Lim

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Darren Lim
5125 3584

Research Interests

Dr Darren Lim

By Appointment
By Appointment

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