Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject we survey the development of Australian foreign policy. We begin with an historical overview of foreign policy, highlighting the core concepts and themes required to interpret and evaluate the conduct of foreign affairs. We then survey the key issues in foreign policy-making and Australia's major foreign relations. Issues include: strategic culture, internationalism and dependence on 'great and powerful friends'. Relationships covered include the United States, China, Japan, Indonesia and the South Pacific. We conclude with an appraisal of recent opportunities and challenges, successes and failures, such as responding to the 'China Choice', interventions in the South Pacific and active participation in the 'war of terror'.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorMichael O'Keefe

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesEssay, tutorial exercises.

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 60 Credit points of level two subjects


Incompatible subjectsPOL2AAW

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Write critical reviews that demonstrate a nuanced understanding of Australia's relations with selected countries and Australia's position in relation to issues explored in the subject such as the 'war on terror' and unauthorised arrivals.
02. Demonstrate a broad and critical knowledge of the multiple sources and perspectives available for studying contemporary Australian foreign policy.
03. Write critical reviews that demonstrate a coherent understanding of contemporary Australian foreign policy.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorMichael O'Keefe

Class requirements

Independent ResearchWeek: 30 - 42
One 1.00 hour independent research per week on any day including weekend during the day from week 30 to week 42 and delivered via blended.

Lecture/WorkshopWeek: 30 - 42
One 1.00 hour lecture/workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 30 to week 42 and delivered via blended.

TutorialWeek: 30 - 42
One 1.00 hour tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 30 to week 42 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Tutorial exercises (Approx. 2000 words)Students will be provided weekly summaries of class performance in tutorial exercises.


2,000-word essayWritten feedback will be provided including an assessment rubric.