POLS2214 Strategy, Diplomacy and Conflict

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Political Science and International Relations major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit focuses on the relationship between strategy, diplomacy and conflict in the international system. The first half of the unit focuses on the nature of geopolitical competition, and the increasingly influential application of geoeconomics. The strategies of the United States and China are the principal focus of attention, and the unit considers the prospects for conflict between these increasingly competitive great powers. The second half of the unit explores a range of new security issues from conflict resolution, human security, as well as energy and environmental security.

This unit builds upon the foundational unit POLS1102 The Contemporary International System. The particular value it adds is to assess the continuing efficacy of classical strategic theory and contemporary human security theory in the context of contemporary conflicts. It provides students with an appreciation of strategy, diplomacy and the causes, conduct and implications of international conflicts in the contemporary international system. Case studies are used to develop links between theory and empirical investigation, allowing students to develop a better understanding of the security dynamics of the contemporary international system from the level of the great powers, to individual human beings.
Students are able to (1) describe the evolution of strategic studies since 1945 within the context of ideas presented by classical strategists, and the shift to security studies with focus on human security; (2) explain the relationship between strategy, diplomacy and conflict with reference to specific case studies; (3) apply theoretical knowledge gained in the unit to understand conflict and/or strategic issues; (4) demonstrate an appreciation of different points of view on issues affecting local or global stability; (5) communicate information, ideas and argument related to the field in a coherent and logical manner in both written and oral forms; (6) work effectively in a collaborative manner as a member of a tutorial group; (7) demonstrate research skills appropriate for locating and assessing relevant primary and secondary materials; (8) demonstrate practiced skills of problem analysis and critical reasoning applied to the subject matter of the field; and (9) undertake enquiry-based learning and research on topics related to the field.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) major essay; (2) tutorial participation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Alex Davis
Unit rules
any Level 1 POLS unit
POLS3314 Strategy, Diplomacy and Conflict
Contact hours
lectures: 20 hours; tutorials: 9 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.