Course Title: Contemporary Foreign Policy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary Foreign Policy

Credit Points: 12.00

Terms

Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

HUSO2328

City Campus

Undergraduate

365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Aiden Warren

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3758

Course Coordinator Email: aiden.warren@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 37.05.26

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None


Course Description

This course is designed to provide you with the tools to analyse contemporary foreign policy. Using the United States as the case study you will look at how foreign policy is conceptualised, constructed and executed. The course will cover debates surrounding American exceptionalism and hegemony, adaptation to the post-Cold War era, the post-9/11 era (including the War on Terror, the 2008 GFC, and the election of Trump in 2016) its responses to the rise of Russia and China, as well as selected issues in contemporary foreign policy such as the environment, global terrorism, global populism, and the global economy. You will explore the process of foreign policy through the key institutions and processes, and how powerful state actors formulate, develop, articulate and execute their own respective foreign policies. You will explore: the most important foreign policy events in recent times; the grand strategies that have been considered or implemented; the inherent trade-offs between ideals and self-interest in foreign policy; and key policy debates that define the foreign policy process. 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:    

  • Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge of international relations, global cultures, language and economic issues to your professional practice or further study. 
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on knowledge about a rapidly changing world derived from multiple sources, perspectives and values systems. 
  • Apply logical, critical and creative thinking to effectively solve a range of problems associated with policies and programs in international and cross-cultural settings, and assess economic, cultural, social, environmental and political opportunities and risks. 
  • Work professionally and effectively with others in diverse cultural, linguistic and organisational contexts, and to adapt practices and knowledge to local circumstances. 
  • Communicate effectively in international and cross-cultural contexts, and facilitate collaborative partnerships within diverse communities of practice, using appropriate formats, media and styles. 
  • Assist in the identification of needs, the design, planning, resourcing and implementation of research and development projects in international and cross-cultural settings.
  • Reflect on the experience of personal and professional practice in international and cross-cultural settings and to act in professionalised settings responsibly, ethically and with integrity. 
  • Apply concepts and techniques of security analysis and strategic thinking to contemporary global security challenges.


Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  1. outline and evaluate the core theoretical concepts and practices associated with foreign policy 
  2. identify and analyse the key institutions and processes that define the foreign policy process 
  3. analyse and evaluate the different perspectives and approaches to foreign policy 
  4. synthesise and apply information and ideas from a range of foreign policy sources to analyse key foreign policy debates and processes 


Overview of Learning Activities

The lectures will introduce each topic, contextualise the set reading material, and highlight the political and security relevance of each issue by drawing on recent information from a variety of sources. The tutorials provide an opportunity for added discussion of issues raised by the lecture and set readings. 


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through a Course Reader or core textbook and also will be able to access a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from via Canvas, and RMIT Library resources. These resources will include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers. 

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.  

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Feedback will be provided throughout the semester by your teachers and peers in class and/or online discussions, and through individual and/or group feedback on practical exercises.  

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1 - Major Research Essay 

50% of total        CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4 

Assessment Task 2 - Take Home Extended Responses 

35% of total      CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4 

Assessment Task 3 - Workshop participation 

15% of total CLO1, CLO2, CLO3 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.  

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.