• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Strategic Studies
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Plant Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Brendan Taylor
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

This course exists for three reasons. First, it introduces students to the leading concepts that sit at the heart of Strategic Studies and allows them to study these in real depth. Second, the course examines how these ideas can be applied in the ‘real world’ of strategy, especially in terms of conflict issues in the Asia-Pacific. And third, given that most of these concepts were developed – or, at the very least, took on new meaning - during the 1950s and 1960s at the height of the Cold War, the course also critically analyses how well they apply today in a much different cultural, geographic and temporal setting. Do they usefully illuminate contemporary Asia-Pacific conflict and how this might work out? Or are adapted and possibly even new versions of these strategic concepts needed as this region enters an era of deepening strategic competition? 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand and differentiate between core Strategic concepts;
  2. Understand and assess the applicability of Strategic concepts to historical cases;
  3. Appreciate the relationship between these concepts and strategy in practice, especially in Asia-Pacific conflict situations;
  4. Critically analyse the applicability of predominantly western-derived Strategic concepts to the different cultural, geographic and temporal settings of contemporary Asia-Pacific conflict;
  5. Conduct rigorous scholarly research on Strategic Concepts and the intellectuals who developed these;
  6. Communicate findings at a high level, both verbally and in writing, to academic, policy and public audiences

Other Information


Indicative Assessment

  1. Short assignment (1,500) (20) [LO 1,3,5,6]
  2. Research essay (3,000 words) (50) [LO 1,2,4,5,6]
  3. Take-home exam (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,6]

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.


This course comprises some 130 hours of activity over 12 weeks, both interactive/seminar based and independent research. The course comprises a maximum of 6k words of assessment or the equivalent. Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing.


Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with STST 9010

Prescribed Texts



Preliminary Reading

Robert Ayson, ‘Asia’s Diplomacy of Violence: China-US Coercion and Regional Order’, Survival, vol.59, no.2, April-May 2017, pp.85-124.

 Robert Ayson and Desmond Ball, ‘Can a Sino-Japanese War Be Controlled?’, Survival, vol.56, no.6, December 2014-January 2015, pp.135-66.

 Coral Bell, The Conventions of Crisis: A Study in Diplomatic Management (London: Oxford University Press, 1971).

 Victor Cha, Powerplay: The Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016).

 Thomas J. Christensen, ‘China, the U.S.-Japan Alliance and the Security Dilemma in East Asia’, International Security, vol.23, no.4, Spring 1999, pp.49-80.

 Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: a history (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

 Lawrence Freedman, ed., Strategic Coercion: concepts and cases (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

 Lawrence Freedman, Deterrence (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2004).

 Evelyn Goh, ed., Rising China’s Influence in Developing Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

 Michael J. Green, et.al., Countering Coercion in Maritime Asia: The Theory and Practice of Gray Zone Deterrence (Lanham, Boulder, New York and London: Rowman & Littlefield for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2017).

 Van Jackson, Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in US-North Korea Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

 Robert Jervis and Mira Rapp-Hooper, ‘Perception and Misperception on the Korean Peninsula’, Foreign Affairs, vol.97, no.3, May/June 2018, pp.103-117.

 Robert Jervis, Perception and misperception in international politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976).

 Alastair Iain Johnston, Cultural Realism: strategic culture and grand strategy in Chinese history (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995).

Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and influence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966).

 Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, MA: Harvard 1960).


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
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2803 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 Online or In Person View

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