Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPolitics
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Remy Davison


Previously coded PLT2015


This unit provides an introduction to the practice of foreign policy and the foreign relations of the great and emerging powers. The unit is divided into two modules:

  1. an overview of the foundational international relations approaches and theoretical approaches to foreign policy analysis
  2. historical and contemporary case studies of the foreign policies of major global and regional powers from the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle-East, including the P5, Japan, India, Iran, Israel and the EU.

The unit examines issues integral to the case studies, such as balances of power; threat perceptions and foreign policy; grand strategies; and status quo and revisionist powers.


  1. Explain different theoretical approaches to national preference formation.
  2. Explain the various states' approaches to foreign policy making.
  3. Utilize approaches from international relations to explain why and how major and emerging powers bandwagon or balance.
  4. Determine how major and emerging powers develop security strategies.
  5. Analyse historical and contemporary influences upon foreign policy making, as well as domestic and international constraints upon foreign policy implementation.
  6. Critically apply theoretical approaches to individual states' foreign policy behaviour.

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will have attained the following learning outcomes and skills:

  1. An understanding of the major theoretical approaches to the study of foreign policy.
  2. A comprehension of the major foreign policy objectives of the P5.
  3. An awareness of the continuities and disjunctures in foreign policy behaviour.
  4. A familiarity with the major strategic concepts espoused by great and emerging powers.
  5. An ability to dissect, contextualise and distinguish between declaratory and operational foreign policy, via documentary analysis and empirical case-studies.
  6. An appreciation of the complexities of, and multiple inputs into, the foreign policy process.


Written work (3500 words): 60%
2 hour Exam: 40%.
ATS3688 students will be expected to demonstrate wider reading in written work and greater understanding of the subject matter by answering at least one exam question of a higher conceptual standard than that required of ATS2688 students.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


12 points of either PLT or INT units at a first-year level, or permission of the unit coordinator