• Class Number 7115
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Emily Robertson
    • AsPr Garth Pratten
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

Asia's economic rise has benefited Australian immensely in commercial terms. From a security perspective, however, it presents a raft of potentially significant dilemmas. This course examines the immense promise and potential strategic pitfalls that confront Australia at the dawn of the so-called Asian century. Questions to be examined in this course include: might Australia be forced to make a choice between its leading trading partner China and its closest security ally the United States if and when strategic competition deepens between these two regional heavyweights? What alternative security arrangements might Australia seek as the relative strategic weight of its American ally declines in the face of Asia's rise? How might Australia compensate for the fact that it might no longer be able to maintain a clear military technological edge over many of its increasingly prosperous Southeast Asian neighbours? And will Australia be forced to cede ground in its own South Pacific sphere of influence as Asia's great powers become increasingly interested and engaged in this part of the world?

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. To provide course members with a greater empirical understanding of the range of national security challenges confronting Australia at the dawn of the so-called 'Asian century', both through the material delivered in lectures, as well as via the reading material assigned.
  2. To provide course members with a series of analytical frameworks for better understanding the complexities of the national security challenges confronting Australia at the dawn of the Asian century.
  3. To assist course members with developing the skills required to clearly and confidently articulate their ideas regarding Australia's national security challenges in the Asian century through in-class discussions, a variety of written assessments and tutorial based activities.

There is no essential preliminary reading for this course, but you are encouraged to explore these books before we start:

·        Gyngell, Alan. Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the world since 1942, Melbourne: Black Inc 2017.

It would also be a great idea—if you are not doing so already—to read the Lowy Interpreter http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/ and ASPI Strategist http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/ blogs regularly. 

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

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). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course overview and introduction
2 MODULE ONE: The Practice of Australian Security Australian policy in practice
3 Australian military security and alliances
4 MODULE TWO: Australia and Its RegionThe Indo-Pacific
5 Oceania
6 Southeast Asia and East Asia 
7 Indian Ocean and Antarctica
8 MODULE THREE: Borderless Threats and Domestic SecurityThe challenges of climate change, pandemics and biosecurity 
9 Extremism and Information Warfare 
10 Space and Nuclear Deterrence
11 Geoeconomics and Trade
12 The Future of Australian Security

Tutorial Registration

Via Wattle site. Tutorial registrations will close at the end of the first week of semester, and commence in the second week of semester.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation 10 % * * 1,2,3
Historical Document Assessment 15 % 16/08/2023 30/08/2023 1,2,3
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats assessment of Australia’s regions 15 % 04/10/2023 18/10/2023 1,2,3
Risk Assessment Matrix and Policy Recommendation Brief 30 % 25/10/2023 08/11/2023 1,2,3
Quizzes 30 % * * 1,2,3

* 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 Misconduct 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 ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

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: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Tutorial Participation

Contribution to tutorial discussions.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 16/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Historical Document Assessment

Assignment One

Historical document analysis

Word count – 1000 (references do not count towards final word count)

Due: Wednesday 16 August 11:55pm

Return date: 30 August 11:55pm

Weighting: 15 percent

This assessment is a comparative analysis of two documents, Australia’s Regional Security (1989) and the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. Both documents lay out the foreign and security policies of the governments of the day.



Identify one constant in Australia’s approach to security in the two documents. What are the areas of continuity and change within this constant, and what do they tell us about how Australia has approached its security in the period between 1989 and 2017? Your response must be in an essay format, with an introduction, body and conclusion.

Students may consult a maximum of three secondary sources to clarify terms, concepts and historical context which are unfamiliar to them. 


A short primer on writing comparative assessments can be found here: How to Write a Comparative Analysis | (harvard.edu). As an example of a comparison of two policy documents, one of the essential readings for Week 1 also contains discussion of two Australian policy documents from 1968 and 1971, as well as a brief discussion of historical background and context. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 04/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 18/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats assessment of Australia’s regions

Assignment Two

SWOT assessment of Australia’s region

Length: 800 words (references do not count towards final word count)

Due: Wednesday 4 October 11:55pm

Returned by: 18 October, 11:55pm

Weighting: 15 percent

There are two steps to this assignment. Firstly, using both ChatGPT and your own research, develop a SWOT matrix about your randomly assigned region. Secondly, provide a short reflective analysis on the pros and cons of ChatGPT in generating policy information.

Scenario: You have been asked to participate in the creation of a new Australian national security strategy initiative. The vision for the national security strategy is:

A unified national security system that anticipates threats, protects the nation and shapes the world in Australia’s interest.

You have been assigned one of the following regions to investigate in relation to Australian national security:

1.     Oceania

2.     Southeast Asia

3.     East Asia

4.     Indian Ocean

5.     Antarctica


Develop a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities matrix (SWOT) about your assigned region. The purpose of the matrix is to consider what implications the various factors you have identified in your region have for Australian security.

Guidance will be provided in tutorials about how to construct a SWOT matrix, and you will be assigned a region via Wattle.




Using ChatGPT and your own research, develop a SWOT matrix to describe the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that your assigned region presents to Australian security. Any news sources or think tank pieces must be no less than 1 year old. Scholarly articles must be no less than 5 years’ old.

The matrix must be fully referenced. The SWOT should be approximately 400 words.


In 400 words, write a reflective piece considering these questions:

1.     ChatGPT is a neural network, and not a search engine: what does this mean about the trustworthiness of the information provided? What issues can you see this presenting in the context of national security policy?

2.     What were the pros and cons of ChatGPT as a research and writing aid for this assignment?

Referencing Style: Chicago

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 25/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 08/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Risk Assessment Matrix and Policy Recommendation Brief

Risk Assessment Matrix and Policy Recommendation Brief

Word Count: 1500 (references do not count towards final word count)

Due: Wednesday 25 October 11:55pm

Returned by: 8 November 11:55pm

Weighting: 30 percent

This assessment builds on the SWOT analysis in Assessment Two.




As part of the process of creating a national security strategy, you have been tasked to further investigate the threats that you have identified in your SWOT matrix.

Your task is to summarise two of the main risks/threats that were identified during the SWOT process, to argue why they should be the focus of Australian security policy in relation to that region, and then provide an analysis of how these risks can be best managed in line with the overall objectives of Australia’s National Security Strategy.

The vision for the national security strategy is:

A unified national security system that anticipates threats, protects the nation and shapes the world in Australia’s interests

That vision is achieved through four national security objectives:

·      Protecting and strengthening our sovereignty

·      Ensuring a safe and resilient population

·      Securing our assets, infrastructure and institutions; and

·      Promoting a favourable international environment


The policy recommendation brief needs to contain the following elements:

1.      A risk matrix, which provides a clear visual for the reader to understand what risks there are for Australia’s security in that region, and their likelihood and severity. Developing this risk matrix will also help you to clarify in your mind which two main risks you would like to identify, and help with the justification of your recommendation regarding which ones to prioritize (Diagram 2.) Fill out the entire matrix to the best of your ability – there may be threats that you hadn’t identified in your SWOT which you can introduce into the RA matrix.

2.      An assessment of the two priority risks (approx. 400 words each). Explicitly state at the start why the two identified risks are the most salient. This needs to go beyond the wording in the risk assessment matrix – provide a background of the threat, and how it relates to Australian security. The two threats you have chosen to focus on should correlate with their placement on the risk assessment matrix (ie. the ‘likelihood’ is on the higher end of the scale, as is the ‘consequence’).

3.      Your recommendation for Australia’s future policy to address the two identified threats (approx. 700 words). This is where you will need to balance managing the threats with the pursuit of a favourable international environment for Australia. You must state the benefits of your policy recommendations, potential consequences of your policy recommendation/s, and explain why the benefits of your recommendation outweigh potential costs.

This may seem like a very short word count, and it is! But remember that Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero once wrote: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

A brief is designed so that the departmental representatives can provide the Minister with a clear overview that can be understood quickly. You will need to avoid any unnecessary verbiage while still presenting a clear flow of information and argument. Assertions must be substantiated with evidence, and advanced with a logical line of reasoning. The point of this exercise is to learn how to translate your university learnings into a work environment that will care less for academic theory, and more for the practical ‘so-what’.

Complete referencing consistent with the course referencing system is needed for the Policy Recommendation Brief. 

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3


Weighting: 30 percent (10 percent per quiz)


Time and date: TBA, to be undertaken three times across the semester


There will be three quizzes on the content of each of the three modules. Questions will be drawn from the lectures and tutorial readings, and will be a combination of short answers, multiple choice and true/false questions. The quizzes will be conducted via Wattle and have a time limit. Each quiz will consist of eight questions.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

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

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension is 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

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions 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.

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).
Emily Robertson

Research Interests

Information Warfare, Civil-Military Relations

Emily Robertson

By Appointment
AsPr Garth Pratten

Research Interests

AsPr Garth Pratten

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions