• Offered by Department of Pacific Affairs
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies
  • Areas of interest Pacific Studies, Asia Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

This course focuses on some of the contemporary debates in the Pacific region in three key areas - climate change, gender, conflict and security - in order to shed light on decision-making processes in the region and the complex dynamics within which these issues and these processes are embedded. The course then turns to three four key actors in the region – China, Australia, Papua New Guinea and churches to examine the crowded geo-politics and partners in the Pacific and the policy-making structures of these key actors as they seek to shape and influence the region.

Topics covered under the course:

  • Climate change in the Pacific
  • Gender in the Pacific
  • Conflict/security in the Pacific
  • China, an emerging new partner in the Pacific
  • Papua New Guinea, why it matters
  • What role do churches play as key actors in the Pacific?

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand and discuss the range and diversity of social, governance and development challenges facing the Pacific
  2. Appraise and gain insights into the pressures and incentives that bear on decision-making in Pacific Islands governments
  3. Understand and describe the complexity of policymaking in the Pacific, including styles of decision-making in Pacific governments

Indicative Assessment

  1. Thematic briefing paper (2,500 words) (70) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Presentation on a thematic issue (10 minute) (30) [LO 1]

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 65 hours of activity over 12 weeks, both interactive/seminar based and independent research. The course comprises a maximum of 3k 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

Prescribed Texts

None required

Preliminary Reading

1.    James Batley, Getting realistic about the South Pacific

2.    George Carter, Establishing a Pacific Voice in Climate Change Negotiations?

3.    Sinclair Dinnen, Doug Porter and Caroline Sage, Conflict in Melanesia: Themes and Lessons

4.    Graeme Dobell, The hierarchy of threats, risks and challenges in the South Pacific.

5.    Aletia Dundas, Faith and health in the time of COVID-19

6.    Manfred Ernst, Changing Christianity in Oceania: a Regional Overview

7.    Euan Graham , Mind the gap: views of security in the Pacific

8.    Little Red Podcast, Step Up or Be Overrun: China’s Challenge for the Pacific

9.    Nic MacLennan, Dodging the hard questions in the Pacific

10. Pacific Women, Thematic Brief |Gender and COVID-19 in the Pacific: Emerging gendered impacts and recommendations for response

11. Patrick Nunn, Responding to the challenges of climate change in the Pacific islands: management and technological imperatives

12. Michelle Nayahamui Rooney, How should peace be measured in Papua New Guinea? 

13. Michael Shoebridge, Australia’s engagement in the South Pacific: thinking beyond the incremental

14. Ceridwen Spark, “We only Get the Daylight Hours”: Gender, Fear and ‘Freedom’ in Urban Papua New Guinea

15. Denghua Zhang, IB 2020/10 China’s Coronavirus ‘COVID-19 Diplomacy’ in the Pacific

16. Denghua Zhang, IB 2020/03 Assessing China’s Climate Change Aid to the Pacific


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
2024 $2220
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $3180
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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