Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. construct and appraise knowledge of the historical evolution of Australia’s strategic and defence policy since Federation in 1901
  2. evaluate Australia’s defence decision-making process and its key actors, including theories of defence decision-making
  3. critically analyse and judge key defence policy concepts and primary sources, including defence white papers and force posture reviews
  4. demonstrate a reflective evaluation of the challenges for the force structure of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), including capability development and defence economics
  5. critically analyse the key strategic and defence policy choices facing Australia’s decision-makers. This includes the future of the Australia-US alliance (ANZUS) and the strategic relations with key Asian players such as Indonesia, China and Japan.
  6. Students will have an advanced understanding of Australia’s defence policymaking process with a particular focus on the role of the Defence Department and the different branches of the Australian Defence Forces.
  • Topics

    • A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
  • Study resources

    • Instructional Methods

      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Streaming Multimedia
      • Web links
    • Online Materials

      • Resources and Links

Entry Requirements


Student has to be admitted to the below programs.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject is previously known as Australia's Strategic and Defence Policy in a Changing Asia

The rise of China and other regional powers, arms modernisation trends and unresolved territorial disputes in the South China Sea and elsewhere make the Asia Pacific region highly conflict prone. Furthermore, Australia’s major ally, the Subjected States, expects its allies and partners to play a more active role in a more dynamic security environment. Consequently, the debate over Australia’s strategic and defence policy choices has intensified in recent years. This subject provides students with the foundational knowledge of Australia’s strategic and defence policy.  Students will not only explore how external developments are shaping defence policy, but also look internally into the process of how Australian defence policymaking is created. In particular, this subject will examine the bureaucratic politics within the Department of Defence and between the three Services (Navy, Army and Air Force) when shaping defence policy formation.

  • Assessment 1 (20%)
  • Assessment 2 (30%)
  • Assessment 3 (50%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject.

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