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IRPG831 – International Security

2017 – S2 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Lecturer: Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations
Lavina Lee
Contact via by email or (02) 9850 8872
Faculty of Arts Level 2 The Australian Hearing Hub 16 University Avenue Macquarie University
Tuesday 10.30 - 11.30 am
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MIntRel or PGDipIntRel or GradDipIntRel oor MIntCommMIntRel or MIntBusMIntRel or MIntRelMIntTrdeComLaw or MTransInterMIntRel or MDevCult or GradCertIntRel
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit introduces students to traditional security studies as well as non-traditional approaches which have sought to deepen and broaden our understanding of what 'security' means. We consider threats to the state including attempts to control the spread of nuclear weapons, the adequacy of strategic concepts such as deterrence to the new security threats posed by international terrorism and rogue states, and the challenge of irregular warfare. We then consider broader conceptions of security, including the idea of societal security (ethno-national conflicts, UN peacekeeping and peace-building) and human security (resource scarcity, climate change, and pandemics such as HIV/AIDs).

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. The ability to explain and differentiate between both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  2. The ability to independently analyse and critically evaluate the assumptions, arguments and concepts that underlie both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  3. The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  4. The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  5. An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.
  6. The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.

General Assessment Information

Plagiarism

Plagiarism has become an increasing problem in universities. The convenor of this course finds plagiarism in all its forms offensive and will pursue any plagiarism committed by students in this course and will apply appropriate penalties. Plagiarism is essentially a form of cheating, which provides those students with an unfair advantage to the rest of the student body, and devalues the MIR degree. The Department and the Faculty take plagiarism very seriously, with penalties escalating from mark deductions, zero grades for particular assignments, zero grades for the course as a whole, and in serious cases, expulsion from the degree and the university.

Both the research essay and final examination paper will be automatically screened through Turnitin (anti-plagiarism software).

Extensions

Any student seeking an extension of time to submit their research paper must, except in extraordinary circumstances, submit to the Convenor (or have submitted on their behalf) a request in writing and supportive documentary evidence prior to the due date. Extensions will not be given other than in exceptional cases of illness. In such cases, a certificate signed by a medical practitioner must be submitted as supportive documentary evidence.

In extraordinary circumstances where a written request for an extension cannot be submitted, an application for an extension can be sought verbally. However, in such cases, any extension granted will be subject to the student subsequently submitting such documentary evidence as is deemed appropriate by the Convenor. If an extension is sought due to the death of a family member, proof must be provided in the form of a death certificate.

Extensions beyond one week are subject to special consideration. The policy for this is detailed under Policy and Procedures under 'Disruption to Studies Policy'.

Whilst we do understand that many or most students support themselves through paid employment, extensions cannot be granted on this basis alone. Students must manage their time and workloads accordingly. Essay topics will be given to students by the second week of semester leaving ample time for essay preparation. Meeting deadlines for assignments is an important skill, and is expected in most jobs. Accordingly, the penalties for late submission are high.

Penalties for Late Submission

Any research paper that is submitted after the due date and without having obtained an extension will be penalized at a rate of 3% per day. For example:

  • a 9% penalty will be applied to an assignment that is 3 days late. If the paper receives an original mark of 70/100, after a 9% penalty is applied, the final mark for the essay would be 64/100

Any paper that is submitted 10 days after the due date will not be marked and the student submitting such a paper will be deemed not to have completed and submitted the paper.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Discussion Board Participation 10% Ongoing
Role Plays 10% Weeks 4 & 9
Research Essay 45% 2 October 2017 by 5pm
Final Examination 35% 19 November by 9.30 am

Discussion Board Participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 10%

A discussion board will be set up on ilearn as a forum to facilitate online discussion of the course material, week by week. Students should prepare to participate on the discussion board by listening to lecture recordings and reading the required readings.  These will be listed on the IRPG831 iLearn site. Discussion will focus on questions that will be uploaded by the Convenor on a weekly basis. To encourage regular participation, contributions made to a particular discussion thread will not be assessed unless they are made within a two-week period after the relevant lecture. 

Students will be assessed on the quality of their contributions rather than the quantity of these contributions, however, students are required post a minimum of four times over the course of the semester (in addition to the role plays).

Students will also be specifically assigned one required reading by the Convenor on which they must be prepared to lead discussion on the board. Students have discretion as to how they would like to approach this. The following questions may assist in preparation:

1. What are the main points put forward by the author?

2. Why are these points are important in the context of the course generally? 

3. Do you find the article and arguments raised to be persuasive?

The quality of your contributions will be significantly enhanced by the amount of preparation you do each week. It is also important that your contributions acknowledge other students' points of view and provide constructive follow-on comments. That is, there should be an attempt to respond to the comments previously made on a topic. Participants should avoid making unconnected statements, unless they wish to start a new thread (raise a new issue).

Posts made after week 13 will not be assessed. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to explain and differentiate between both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The ability to independently analyse and critically evaluate the assumptions, arguments and concepts that underlie both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.

Role Plays

Due: Weeks 4 & 9
Weighting: 10%

In week 2, students will be allocated roles in two case studies for which they will need to do additional research. Students are required to construct a policy position from the point of view of the 'actor' they represent in a particular case study and to negotiate this policy with the other 'actors' in their allocated week.

The role plays will take place online on the discussion board in the week the topic is discussed in lectures. It is therefore essential that students contribute to the discussion board in the allocated week. Each student will post a one page statement (equivalent to one page of a Word doc. in 12 point font or 350 words) of their position and then negotiations will be opened to the group as whole in the online discussion forum. Further details on the role play scenarios will be provided in week 2.

Assessment criteria

Your tutor will assess your contribution to the role play using the following criteria:

  • level of preparation (evidence of research and understanding of the likely position of the 'actor' represented based on their interests)
  • written expression (clarity of explanation)
  • ability to keep within the word limit (in relation to the one page position statement - this does not apply to the negotiation phase)
  • ability of the student to analyse and respond appropriately (given the interests of the actor they are representing) to the policy positions of other actors.

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.

Research Essay

Due: 2 October 2017 by 5pm
Weighting: 45%

This 2500 word (excluding footnotes and bibliography) research essay is intended to develop core disciplinary knowledge, enhance independent research skills, written (academic) communication skills and demonstrate an ability to develop original, critical thinking. In the essay students will provide evidence of active engagement with, and critical analyis of, the relevant academic literature, comply with academic essay writing conventions and reference thoroughly. In general, essay topics will require students to address opposing points of view on the question and to come to their own conclusion about the merits of these arguments.

Essay questions will be posted in Week 2 on ilearn.

The essay must be submitted electronically via the IRPG831 iLearn site no later than Monday 2 October by 5pm. Marks will be returned electronically via the iLearn site.

Please read the University's guidelines on Academic Honesty. All assessment submissions through iLearn will be automatically processed through Turnitin.

The essay will be marked in accordance with the MIR's 'Grading Criteria and Rubric' document which will be uploaded on ilearn.

Essay format: please ensure that your essay is written using font 12, with at least 1.5 line spacing.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to explain and differentiate between both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The ability to independently analyse and critically evaluate the assumptions, arguments and concepts that underlie both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.

Final Examination

Due: 19 November by 9.30 am
Weighting: 35%

External Students will complete a one-day take home exam paper. The paper will be released on ilearn at 9.30 am on Saturday 18 November and is due for submission at 9.30 am on Sunday 19 November 2017. The exam will assess students' knowledge of the content covered in all topics discussed over the semester. As this course covers a broad range of topics it is advisable that students attempt to keep up to date with their readings throughout the semester.

Detailed information about this assessment item will be available on the iLearn site for this subject after the mid-semester break. 

All students are responsible for ensuring their availability to take the exam on this date.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to explain and differentiate between both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The ability to independently analyse and critically evaluate the assumptions, arguments and concepts that underlie both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.

Delivery and Resources

Unit Requirements and Expectations

  • You should spend an average of at least 12 hours per week on this unit. This includes attendance at lectures and tutorials and reading weekly required readings detailed in iLearn.
  • Internal students are expected to attend at least 80% of tutorials and external students are expected to contribute to on-line discussions.

Required readings

  • Required readings will be posted to the unit iLearn site as Session 2 progresses.

Technology used and required

  • Personal PC and internet access are essential for this unit. Basic computer skills and skills in word processing are also a requirement.
  • The unit can only be accessed by enrolled students online through http://ilearn.mq.edu.au

Submitting Assessment Tasks

  • All assessment tasks are to be submitted, marked and returned electronically. 
  • Assessment tasks must be submitted either as a PDF or MS word document by the due date.
  • All assessment tasks will be subject to a 'TurnitIn' review as an automatic part of the submission process on ilearn.
  • Assessment tasks must be submitted with as assessment coversheet incorporating a plagiarism declaration. This can be done online in the process of submitting written work online on the ilearn site.

Unit Schedule

WEEK 1 (2 August): Introduction: the widening and deepening of security studies; Realism

No tutorials in week 1

WEEK 2 (9 August): Liberalism, Constructivism and the study of Security

WEEK 3 (16 August): Nuclear Proliferation

WEEK 4 (23 August): Nuclear Counter-Proliferation Strategies - Role Play 1: North Korea's Nuclear Programme

WEEK 5 (30 August): Irregular Warfare and Counter-Insurgency

WEEK 6 (6 September): Terrorism - Role Play 2: Counter-terrorism and ISIS

WEEK 7 (13 September): Reading Week - No lectures or tutorials

Mid-Semester Break - 18 September to 2 October 2017

Research Essay due Monday 2 October 2017 by 5 pm

WEEK 8 (4 October): Societal Security 

WEEK 9 (11 October): Regime Security - Role Play 3: Regime and Societal Security in Myanmar

WEEK 10 (18 October): Health and Security 

WEEK 11 (25 October): Great-power competition and Energy Security

WEEK 12 (1 November): Environmental Security and Revision

WEEK 13 (8 November): Study week - no lectures or classes

Final exam paper released 9.30 am 18 November 2017 and due for submission at 9.30 am on 19 November 2017.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to explain and differentiate between both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.

Assessment tasks

  • Discussion Board Participation
  • Role Plays
  • Research Essay
  • Final Examination

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.

Assessment tasks

  • Discussion Board Participation
  • Role Plays
  • Research Essay
  • Final Examination

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to explain and differentiate between both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The ability to independently analyse and critically evaluate the assumptions, arguments and concepts that underlie both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.

Assessment tasks

  • Discussion Board Participation
  • Role Plays
  • Research Essay
  • Final Examination

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to explain and differentiate between both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The ability to independently analyse and critically evaluate the assumptions, arguments and concepts that underlie both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  • An ability to communicate effectively in written work. This involves being able to identify and and organise relevant knowledge in the field and to be able to formulate persuasive, coherent, and critical arguments.

Assessment tasks

  • Discussion Board Participation
  • Role Plays
  • Research Essay
  • Final Examination

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues
  • The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.

Assessment task

  • Role Plays

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to independently analyse and critically evaluate the assumptions, arguments and concepts that underlie both traditional and non-traditional theoretical approaches to international security.
  • The capacity to apply theoretical concepts to analyse contemporary security issues.
  • The capacity to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important contemporary international security issues

Assessment tasks

  • Role Plays
  • Research Essay