IRSST301-22A (HAM)

International Relations: The Context, Theory and Practice of New Zealand Foreign Policy

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Political Science and Public Policy


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Paper Description

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This course seeks to provide students with an overview of New Zealand foreign policy from the beginning of the 20th century through to the present day. This will include the major shifts – as well as elements of continuity – that have defined New Zealand’s approach to foreign policy during this period. It also considers the role government departments play in the creation and implementation of policy, featuring a number of guest speakers from government officials.
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Paper Structure

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Workshops: This paper involves face-to-face learning on campus (3 hour workshops) During face-to-face workshops, students are encouraged to engage and ask questions throughout. It is essential that students do the weekly required readings (see readings document on Moodle) so they are able to engage and interact with the teacher and fellow students during the workshops.

COVID-precautions: If covid shuts down access to campus, we will switch to online (via Zoom) Workshops. Every assessment (including the group presentations) can be submitted and done online. If individual students become ill and/or have to self-isolate, recordings of the workshops can be assessed via Moodle and the tutorial component of the workshops can be done via an online forum.

Guest speakers: please note that every year a number of working professionals come to Waikato to talk to this class (if necessary, they will opt to Zoom-in). They have come from the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs Trade (MFAT), NZ Defence Force (NZDF), NZ Ministry of Defence (MOD), US Embassy (Wellington) and the National Assessment Bureau (NAB). These talks offer 'real world' insight into NZ foreign policy, help us connect theory to practice, and contain invaluable information explaining what it is like to work in government and what these organisations look for from potential job applicants.

Note that during the group presentation workshops there are no required readings for those sessions, as we will discuss the group presentations instead.

Moodle will be used for the following:

  • To provide updates on course related matters.
  • For students to submit assignments online through TurnItIn.
  • Instructions and advice guides for the essays, briefing paper and group presentations.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Objectives and Learning Outcomes
    By the end of the course students will be expected to be able to:
    • Identify major trends and themes in New Zealand foreign policy from the early 20th century to the contemporary period;
    • Apply key international relations theories to significant cases in New Zealand foreign policy history;
    • Recognise the relationship between the foreign policy behaviour of the New Zealand state and the work of prominent government departments involved in foreign policy making and;
    • Demonstrate analytical and writing skills through essay writing, workshop participation and presentations, and be able to tailor their writing for a government (non-academic) audience
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment instructions and advice guides can be found on Moodle. It is very important you read these before starting any assessment.

All assessments should be submitted online (via TurnItIn on Moodle) as word documents (do not submit PDFs)

Internal assessment/examination ratio: 1:0

The breakdown of assessments as a percentage of the final mark is as follows:

Essay (3000 words) – 30% (Due date: Friday, 10th June)

Policy Process – Briefing Paper (3000 words) – 30% (Due date: Friday, 15th April)

Group Presentation – 30% (the date of the group presentations will be set at a later date once we know when the guest presentations will take place; we need to be flexible to accommodate the schedule of our guest speakers)

Workshop attendance and participation – 10%

Essays: Each student is required to write one essay, which should be approximately 3000 words in length.

Policy Process assessment: This assessment should be approximately 3000 words in length.

Workshop attendance: Each student is expected to attend the workshops each week. This represents 10% of your final mark. Attendance = 5% of this and participation the other 5%. Participation involves answering questions, adding to the discussion and engaging others’ views.

Group Presentation: In groups you will need to put together a 30 minute presentation on New Zealand’s relations with one country. Each member of the group is required to present during the presentation and should aim to present for roughly an equal amount of time as one another.

Templates and demonstrations of the policy process assessment are available on Moodle.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. The Policy Process - Briefing Paper
15 Apr 2022
7:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay
17 Jun 2022
7:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Group Presentations (26 May and 2 June)
4. Attendance & Participation (Workshops 1-5 and 12)
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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There is no set course book for this course but there are set readings for each Workshop (for Workshops 1-5 and 12). See the required reading list on Moodle.
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Recommended Readings

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Please see extended reading list on Moodle. These will be helpful for your assessments
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Other Resources

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The History Group of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage has a decent postcast series you may wish to peruse and listen to:

Radio NZ also has an excellent podcast series called 'the 9th floor' where they interview former NZ prime ministers.

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Online Support

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On Moodle the following is available to assist student's learning:

  • Assessment advice guides
  • Studiosity (an online platform to assist with writing)
  • The teacher's email address and office number. You can contact the teacher any time with questions.
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In addition to attending workshops, students will be expected to complete assignments and read the prescribed materials. The expected workload for the paper is an average of about 14 hours per week.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: At least 60 points at 100 level.

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Restricted papers: POLS301

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