Walsh School of Foreign Service

CANZPS Courses

INAF-309: Australian / New Zealand Tutorial Independent Study

INAF-100 (10): Proseminar: Peoples and Politics Down Under

Who are the people of Australia and New Zealand? The land down under, often portrayed as exotic and quirky, is home to 27.5 million people. Both countries describe themselves as ‘punching above their weight.’ Internationally competitive in numerous ways, both are certainly economically successful, especially given their small populations. Australia is the 13th largest economy by nominal GDP, while New Zealand ranks 55th. We often think we know Australia – “Throw another shrimp on the barbie,” “g’day mate,” funny hats and toilets that flush “the other way.” New Zealand is the home of hobbits and bungee jumping. These are some of the stereotypes people have of the “land down under.” The reality, of course, is far more complex, textured and interesting. Australia and New Zealand both share a lot with the United States, much of it unappreciated or unacknowledged. Australia has been described as “…America’s most reliable ally, and most valuable security partner in the Pacific basin for many years. Australia has fought beside the United States in every war during the last century….” New Zealand has often been characterized as a social laboratory of modern democracy. While sharing much with America, both these countries are unique and fascinating places. Who are the people down under? What concerns them? What drives them? Where are they going? And, what lessons can they share about governing the modern state?

INAF-318: National Identities and Interests in Settler Societies

This course surveys the origins and projection of national values and state institutions of settler societies, especially the United States, Australia, and Canada. Students will explore how people in these countries have defined their national identity, the relative salience of those identities compared to other beliefs, and the consequences of different conceptions of nationhood for defining interests at home and abroad. Key questions include: What is the role of myth in nation building? How do elites and institutions mold a sense of community? How do migration and sub-national identities shape efforts to define national interests? And how does national identity affect foreign policy making and practice. Comparison with the settlement and nation building experiences in Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere will provide additional insight into how political traditions—transplanted over time through migration and enduring social, economic, and cultural ties—affect contemporary domestic and foreign policies.

INAF-225: Politics of Marine Conservation

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its extraordinary beauty and biodiversity, the Great Barrier Reef is a global environmental icon and home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Despite its protected status, the Reef has become a symbol of the challenges facing humanity in balancing economic imperatives with environmental protection. Enter the complex world of environmental politics and policy, where marine science and conservation efforts meet economic and political institutions to drive policy outcomes. This program will take you to Queensland, Australia, where the coastal city of Townsville will serve as your gateway to understanding the array of competing interests that affect the Great Barrier Reef. Here you will meet with local politicians, bureaucrats, activists, marine scientists, Indigenous peoples and “ordinary Australians” to understand varying perspectives on issues surrounding the protection and preservation of the Great Barrier Reef. Through an integration of lecture, discussion, field research, and experiential activities, the course will use the Great Barrier Reef as a case study to examine the process of evidence-based policymaking, emphasizing the roles of vested interests, party politics, and political institutions.

INAF-360: Smaller States and Peacemaking

Not all states are built the same when it comes to peacemaking and conflict. Some, like the US, have extensive resources and are able bring to bear a wide range of resources and political influence. Most others, however, struggle to nurse limited national resources and limited political influence. These smaller states often utilize their limited resources in very clever and focused ways to deliver peacemaking outcomes. Often smaller states will fund the peacemaking activities of NGOs or financially support the peacemaking efforts of regional organizations. Of course, these states (great, medium and small) pursue peacemaking objectives in the name of their national interest (however that may be defined). Norway, for example, has supported peace initiatives in Guatemala, Sudan and Sri Lanka. While none of these countries had significant relations with Norway, the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) funded these initiatives because they were deemed in the national interest. The same may be said of Japanese support for the Aceh peace initiative, as well as a host of others sponsored states around the globe. Arguably, no state is entirely dedicated to peacemaking along. In pursuing national interests some states may pursue peacemaking in one place, and conflict promotion in another.  In this course students will have an opportunity to examine a range of case studies that illustrate the peacemaking efforts of smaller states. Cases might include peacemaking efforts in Aceh, Mindanao, East Timor, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, and Colombia for example, and states acting as peacemakers include Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Qatar and the Vatican. Of course in examining any of these cases it will be instructive to ask “what’s in it” for the given state. States do not pursue their international relations in purely cooperative terms and are not always benign. Indeed, some states may pursue peacemaking in a punitive or aggressive fashion.

INAF-386: Pacific Islands in the 21st Century

Pacific Island Countries (PICs), which span the central and southern Pacific, today reflect the interaction of early settlements established across the Pacific through migration that were followed by the legacy of colonialism, both European and American. As independent countries, they now face multiple challenges from increasingly globalized trade and migration, emergent and often conflicting economic and military interests of world powers, and environmental threats from global warming. The course will cover the political and economic issues the island nations face, including migration, remittances, donor interventions and assistance, trade and climate change. The course also covers the political and security impact of regional powers (Australia, China, New Zealand, and the United States) and international organizations (Asian Development Bank, IMF and the World Bank). Over the course of the semester, students will develop a detailed portfolio for one Pacific Island Country that will cover its history, challenges, and prospects, and deploy development economics concepts in its analysis. Course material is drawn from academic articles, government reports, and the news media.

INAF-387: Geostrategic Competition in the Pacific

Competition for strategic influence in Oceania is becoming as crowded and complex as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. While the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and France remain the dominant regional powers, China has poured in aid and investment dollars in recent years—and Russia, Indonesia, Japan, and India also increasingly seek to advance their interests among Pacific Island countries (PICs). The rivalry produces “strategic anxiety” even as it empowers PICs with greater choice of partners to help them meet pressing demographic, economic, environmental, and regional security concerns. Through a mixture of readings, guest lectures, and seminar discussions, this course explores the drivers behind international security politics in the Pacific from both extra- and intra-regional perspectives, including assessments of the extent to which traditional concepts, legacy agreements, and historical relationships remain useful for both PICs and external powers.

INAF-390: The Australian American Alliance

This course examines the history, evolution and contemporary challenges in the Australian-American relationship. The alliance has become increasingly important in the face of growing competition between Beijing and Washington.  The recent creation of AUKUS underscores the importance of the Australian-American alliance.  In broad terms, both Australia and the U.S. share a language, many cultural forms and traits, and a deep commitment to democratic ideals. Today, both share many common interests and challenges. Both have deep interests in Asia, which today drive their deep strategic relationship embodied in the ANZUS Treaty. This course focuses on the evolution of the Australian-American relationship from shared cultural and political ideals through to the evolution of the strategic alliance formed in the aftermath of World War II and deepened in the ensuing years.