Module Identifier IP38920  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Timothy Dunne  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Lecture   10 Hours 10 x 1 hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours 10 x 1 hour  
Assessment Presentation   assessed group presentation   25%  
  Essay   2 x essays 1 x 1500 word = 25% and 1 x 3000 word = 50%   75%  


Students opting for this module should achieve:
- familiarity with historical and cultural parameters of Australia
- a good understanding of Australia in international relations (both regional and global)
- be able to articulate and write cogently on questions of civilisational identity and the implications this holds for foreign policy
- the ability to think critically on the theory and practice of identity formation


This module seeks to critically examine the way in which Australian identity has been constructed, and the implications this holds for Australia's relations with the Asia-Pacific Region.   It is intended to appeal in particular to students with an interest in culture, indigenous peoples and international political theory.

Brief description

Australia finds itself living on the fault-line of three civilisations: descendents of white Europeans, Aborigines and the increasing influence of Asia culture. In order to conceptualise this problematic, the module begins by asking how 'Australian' identity has been constructed? What has been left out of the story?   

We then examine these debates about identity from a regional perspective. Clearly, corporate and political elites see Australia's economic and security interests tied up with the Asia-Pacific Region. This raises a number of interesting theoretical and diplomatic questions. How has Australia managed these new directions in its international relations? More interestingly, what are the limits to Australian cooperation with Asia, and how significant is civilisational identity in determining these limits? For example, is Australia being excluded from being a full member of the region because it is identified with ‘Western values’ and not 'Asian values'?

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Richard White. Inventing Australia: Images and Identity 1688-1980.
John Pilger. A Secret Country.