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PICT704 – Understanding International Security

2017 – S2 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Sheryn Lee
Y3A 227
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This graduate seminar introduces students to the foundational concepts, methods and theories that underlie contemporary research and debate in international security studies. For the first half of session, we will examine the different theoretical approaches to International Security from rational choice to cognitive and biological approaches. In the second half of session, we will examine the major debates in International Security, from the causes of war and conditions of peace to the question of internally directed political violence.

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. Evaluate the theoretical approaches that frame the subfield of International Security, including the relationship to their historical context.
  2. Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the International Security lexicon.
  3. Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.
  4. Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly.
  5. Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.
  6. Engage consistently with the unit through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.

General Assessment Information

Throughout the session, academic skills sessions will be held to assist students in the preparation of their assessments. Students are also encouraged to actively contact the unit convenor with any questions and if they need additional guidance on their assessments.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Engagement 20% Ongoing
Literature Review 30% Week 7
Research Essay 50% Week 13

Engagement

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 20%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

Ongoing assessment. Hurdle assessment. For internal students, engagement and active participation in a one-hour lecture and one-hour tutorial each week (11/13 sessions) is expected. For external students, engagement and actie participation in a minimum of 11/13 online forums is required. (minimum 250 words and maximum 500 words).

Engagement involves reflective thinking on the focus questions, demonstrating critical thinking and understanding of the required readings, as well as demonstrated ability to address the focus questions with regards to all unit materials (readings, and pre-recorded lectures and seminars). Engagement in seminar activities must be completed by the end of the week (for example, if the week begins on Monday 1 August, the week ends on the following Sunday 7 August). Engagement will not be counted beyond the allocated timeframe. Grades are Pass/Fail.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Evaluate the theoretical approaches that frame the subfield of International Security, including the relationship to their historical context.
  • Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the International Security lexicon.
  • Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.
  • Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly.
  • Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.
  • Engage consistently with the unit through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.

Literature Review

Due: Week 7
Weighting: 30%

This review of the literature which aims for students to demonstrate critical understanding of the theoretical approaches of International Security. This mid-term assessment is a 1500-word review and students must choose a topic from Weeks 2-6 i.e.:

  • Week 2         Realist Approaches
  • Week 3         Institutionalist Approaches
  • Week 4         Liberal Approaches
  • Week 5         Ideational and Identity-Based Approaches
  • Week 6         Cognitive and Bureaucratic Approaches

All of the required readings must be reviewed together in one literature review—it is not three separate reviews of each reading. Research for the literature review should go beyond the required readings (a good place to start is the recommended readings), and the aim is to demonstrate critical understanding of the literature. Each literature review should:

  1. Indicate the puzzle, problem, or debate that the authors address.
  2. Identify what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of the authors’ arguments (contributions as well as the shortcomings in the work).
  3. Suggest one or more contemporary empirical problems or policy debates to which the authors’ work is relevant and its usefulness.

In this regard, each literature review should place the authors in their specific context, the broader context of the debate and how the text made an impact on the field of study, demonstrate understanding of the methods and values behind each text, and evaluate the key arguments made and why it has continuing relevance to the field. In this regard, the reviews should reflect that the student has completed the readings, but they should not be summaries of the readings.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Evaluate the theoretical approaches that frame the subfield of International Security, including the relationship to their historical context.
  • Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the International Security lexicon.
  • Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.
  • Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly.
  • Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.

Research Essay

Due: Week 13
Weighting: 50%

The completion of a research essay is intended to encourage students to develop core disciplinary knowledge, enhance research skills, display effective communication through academic writing, and demonstrate original and critical thinking. This final assessment is 3000-word essay and students must choose one essay question from a list of five based on the topics from Weeks 7-13, i.e.:

Questions will be released by Week 4 on the iLearn site.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Evaluate the theoretical approaches that frame the subfield of International Security, including the relationship to their historical context.
  • Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the International Security lexicon.
  • Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.
  • Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly.
  • Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.

Delivery and Resources

 

DELIVERY AND RESOURCES

 

UNIT REQUIREMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS

  • You should spend an average of 12 hours per week on this unit. This includes listening to lectures prior to seminar or tutorial, reading weekly required materials as detailed in iLearn, participating in Ilearn discussion forums and preparing assessments.
  • Internal students are expected to attend all seminar or tutorial sessions, and external students are expected to make significant contributions to on-line activities.
  • In most cases students are required to attempt and submit all major assessment tasks in order to pass the unit. 

REQUIRED READINGS

  • The citations for all the required readings for this unit are available to enrolled students through the unit iLearn site, and at Macquarie University's library site.  Electronic copies of required readings may be accessed through the library or will be made available by other means. 

TECHNOLOGY USED AND REQUIRED

  • Computer and internet access are essential for this unit. Basic computer skills and skills in word processing are also a requirement.
  • This unit has an online presence. Login is via: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/
  • Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.
  • Information about IT used at Macquarie University is available at  http://students.mq.edu.au/it_services/ 

SUBMITTING ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • All text-based assessment tasks are to be submitted, marked and returned electronically.  This will only happen through the unit iLearn site. 
  • Assessment tasks must be submitted as a MS word document by the due date.
  • Most assessment tasks will be subject to a 'TurnitIn' review as an automatic part of the submission process.
  • The granting of extensions is subject to the university’s Disruptions Policy. Extensions will not in normal circumstances be granted by unit conveners or tutors, but must be lodged through Disruption to Study: http://www.students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/manage_your_study_program/disruption_to_studies/. 

LATE SUBMISSION OF ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • If an assignment is submitted late, 5% of the available mark will be deducted for each day (including weekends) the paper is late.
  • For example, if a paper is worth 20 marks, 1 mark will be deducted from the grade given for each day that it is late (i.e. a student given 15/20 who submitted 4 days late will lose 4 marks = 11/20).
  • The same principle applies if an extension is granted and the assignment is submitted later than the amended date. 

WORD LIMITS FOR ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • Stated word limits include footnotes and footnoted references, but not bibliography, or title page.
  • Word limits can generally deviate by 10% either over or under the stated figure.
  • If the number of words exceeds the limit by more than 10%, then penalties will apply. These penalties are 5% of the awarded mark for every 100 words over the word limit. If a paper is 300 words over, for instance, it will lose 3 x 5% = 15% of the total mark awarded for the assignment. This percentage is taken off the total mark, i.e. if a paper was graded at a credit (65%) and was 300 words over, it would be reduced by 15 marks to a pass (50%).
  • The application of this penalty is at the discretion of the course convener.

REASSESSMENT OF ASSIGNMENTS DURING THE SEMESTER

  • Macquarie University operates a Grade Appeal Policy in cases where students feel their work was graded inappropriately: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html
  • In accordance with the Grade Appeal Policy, individual works are not subject to regrading. 

STAFF AVAILABILITY

  • Department staff will endeavour to answer student enquiries in a timely manner. However, emails or iLearn messages will not usually be answered over the weekend or public holiday period.
  • Students are encouraged to read the Unit Guide and look at instructions posted on the iLearn site before sending email requests to staff.

 

Unit Schedule

Sheryn Lee, will be away between Weeks 2-4, and therefore changes have been made to the unit schedule accordingly. however, the same content will be taught. Sheryn will still be contactable by email.

Week 1                 Realist Approaches

Week 2                NO CLASS

Week 3                NO CLASS

Week 4                NO CLASS

Week 5                Institutionalist Approaches  

Week 6                Liberal Approaches

Week 7                Ideational & Identity-Based Approaches | Cognitive & Bureaucratic Approaches

MID-SESSION BREAK (18 SEPTEMBER 2017 to 1 OCTOBER 2017)

Week 8                War and Conflict

Week 9                Peace and Peacekeeping

Week 10              Domestic Institutions and Preferences

Week 11               Emerging and Disruptive Technologies

Week 12              Unipolarity

Week 13              Civil War and Ethnic Conflict

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 - 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

  • Evaluate the theoretical approaches that frame the subfield of International Security, including the relationship to their historical context.
  • Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the International Security lexicon.
  • Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.
  • Engage consistently with the unit through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.

Assessment tasks

  • Literature Review
  • Research Essay

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

  • Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly.
  • Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.
  • Engage consistently with the unit through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.

Assessment task

  • Engagement

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

  • Evaluate the theoretical approaches that frame the subfield of International Security, including the relationship to their historical context.
  • Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the International Security lexicon.
  • Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.

Assessment tasks

  • Literature Review
  • Research Essay

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

  • Evaluate the theoretical approaches that frame the subfield of International Security, including the relationship to their historical context.
  • Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.

Assessment tasks

  • Literature Review
  • Research Essay

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

  • Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the International Security lexicon.
  • Understand both the assumptions that underpin key theories, and the methods used for research and investigation.
  • Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly.
  • Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.
  • Engage consistently with the unit through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.

Assessment tasks

  • Engagement
  • Literature Review
  • Research Essay

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

  • Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly.
  • Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.
  • Engage consistently with the unit through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.

Assessment task

  • Engagement

Changes since First Published

Date Description
19/06/2017 change to unit convenor as tutor no longer available to teach
14/06/2017 changes to wording for engagement assessment to remove participation for active participation