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POLS551 Conflicts, Crises and New Zealand Foreign Policy in the Pacific

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

Critical examination of causal and contributing factors to conflicts and crises in the Pacific using different conceptual frameworks and evaluation of the appropriateness of New Zealand foreign policy in relation to these.

This paper uses critical theories to examine New Zealand foreign policy in relation to conflicts and crises across the Pacific region. In relation to each conflict/crisis, it seeks to understand key factors that shaped New Zealand's response. In nearly every case, the response was devoid of critical perspectives regarding issues of nation-states, nation building, race/ethnicity and politics, culture and politics, geopolitics, and resource exploitation. Some might argue this resulted in policies that were shallow, leading to unsustainable long-term solutions. Others might argue that these were the most effective, given the information available. We'll examine both sides and see whether adopting critical theories could have provided for better policies.

Paper title Conflicts, Crises and New Zealand Foreign Policy in the Pacific
Paper code POLS551
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,713.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,512.50

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POLS 419
Limited to
Teaching staff

To be confirmed

Paper Structure
  • Section 1 - Overview: Pacific conflicts and crises, and New zealand foreign policy (Week 1)
  • Section 2 - Conflict and Nation-States: the papua-new Guinea/Bougainville conflict (Weeks 2-3)
  • Section 3 - Conflict and Ethnicity: the Solomon Islands conflict (Weeks 4-5)
  • Section 4 - Conflict and Race: the Fiji coups (Weeks 6-7)
  • Section 5 - Conflict and Globalisation: Transnational crime (Weeks 8-9)
  • Section 6 - Conflict and Regionalism: a regional approach to conflict resolution/management (Weeks 10-11)
  • Section 7 - Paper conclusion: Comparative analysis of conflicts, crises and New Zealand foreign policy in the Pacific (Weeks 12-13)

Textbooks are not required for this paper, but there will be a course reader.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the paper, students will be able to:

  • Provide critical commentary, both in oral and written form, concerning the major factors that have contributed to regional conflicts and crises.
  • Identity and apply relevant conceptual frameworks and debates relating to conflicts and crises to case studies in the Pacific and similar case studies elsewhere.
  • Provide critical commentary, both in oral and written form, concerning the appropriateness and efficacy of New Zealand foreign policy in relation to a number of cases in the Pacific.
  • Produce analytical reports on conflicts and crises events within the Pacific region.

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Not offered in 2020

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system