• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Security Studies, Diplomacy, International Affairs, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course will introduce students to the main techniques and theories for analyzing and understanding how governments make foreign policy decisions. It will be divided into two main interactive components. The first will be dedicated to surveying the leading theories on foreign policy decision-making to provide an avenue for addressing questions such as: What role do personalities play in the process? Does the bureaucracy have an impact? Where do questions of national identity and ambition fit in? How does the form of political regime - democratic or authoritarian - impact the decision-making process? What impact do external factors and structural constraints have on foreign policy decision-making? The second  component will emphasize participation and application of the theories through the research and presentation of selected case studies.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. explain different theories of foreign policy analysis;
  2. analyse strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to foreign policy analysis;
  3. apply theories of foreign policy analysis to specific cases;
  4. conduct research, think critically and develop academic writing styles to suit different purposes; and
  5. understand the issues and processes described and to relate them to current affairs and present-day issues of significance.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Take-home mid-term exam, 1500 words (30) [LO 1,2]
  2. Case-based research paper, 1500 words (25) [LO 1,3,4,5]
  3. Oral case study group presentation, 20 mins + 25 mins discussion (10) [LO 3,4,5]
  4. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 1,3,5]
  5. Take-home final exam, 1500 words (25) [LO 1,2,3]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 10 days delivered intensively: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Political Science (POLS) courses, or with permission of the convener.

Prescribed Texts

Course reading brick and materials set out through Wattle site.

Assumed Knowledge

Familiarity with basic concepts and theories of international relations per the requisite course contents.




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:
6 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.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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