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INR1002 Soft Power and Cultural Diplomacy

Semester 2, 2021 Toowoomba On-campus
Short Description: Soft Power & Cult'l Diplomacy
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090101 - Political Science
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Jess Carniel

Other Requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


In the context of increasing globalisation that affects politics, trade, and human security, it is important that International Relations students are equipped with an understanding of how ‘soft power’ approaches to international relations function within the global system. This course provides a foundational understanding of international relations concepts and practices, such as soft power, cultural diplomacy, cultural relations, and nation branding. It will provide first-year students with foundational skills in analysis, and written and oral communication, with a focus on the professional cross-cultural competencies necessary for diplomatic work.


This course focuses on the concept of `soft power' in international relations discourse and practice. You will develop an understanding of how soft power functions through various diplomatic and cultural relations, often driven by non-state and civil society actors. You will explore and apply these concepts to various case studies and examples, such as the Olympic Games, the World Cup, the Eurovision Song Contest, the Colombo Plan, and tourism. This course is included in the International Relations major, but can be taken as an elective by any student with an interest in the intersection between politics and culture in a globalising world.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. use academic and professional skills to apply critical knowledge of the nature and evolution of ‘soft power’ as a diplomatic function within international relations;
  2. contextualise the nature and evolution of the international system and the practice of diplomacy and other forms of interaction at the various levels of the system;
  3. apply written and verbal communication skills that conform with the requirements of the discipline to prepare and submit academic work;
  4. apply ethical research and inquiry skills to the comprehension and application of basic referencing norms and practices in their work;
  5. apply cultural literacy skills by describing, analysing and applying international perspectives using discipline-specific analytical frameworks.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Soft Power 10.00
2. Cultural Diplomacy 10.00
3. Cultural Relations 10.00
4. Public Diplomacy 10.00
5. Nation Branding 10.00
6. Case Studies 50.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There is no set textbook to purchase for this course.
All material for this course is available online via Study Desk and it is the student's responsibility to access these materials each week..

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Nye, J 2004, Soft Power: The means to success in World Politics, 1st edn, Public Affairs, New York.
Snow, N & Cull, J 2020, Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, 2nd edn, Routledge, Oxon, New York.
Van Ham, P 2010, Social Power in International Politics, 1st edn, Routledge, Oxon, New York.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Independent Study 126.00
Lectures 13.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
TAKE HOME TEST (SHORT ANSWER) 100 40 30 Aug 2021
FINAL REPORT 100 50 22 Oct 2021 (see note 1)
PARTICIPATION 100 10 22 Oct 2021 (see note 2)

  1. The final report will comprise both a written report and a oral presentation presented in the final week of class.
  2. Students are expected to participate regularly in tutorials and online forums. The deadline provided indicates the final date for participation in any classroom or online activities. Timeliness and regularity of participation will be factored into assessment of online participation.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item. Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and Benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Arts and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Date printed 8 November 2021