• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest International Relations
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course looks at globalisation through the lens of communication and asks: what is the impact of communications technologies on global politics, culture and social organisation?  What new forms of power, new modes of political organisation, and new forms of political culture are emerging?  Do communications technologies deepen democracy or provide new avenues for political control, through mechanisms that include new forms of global citizenship and political activism, to new surveillance technologies, “hactivism” and cyberwarfare?  The course begins with a basic introduction to political communication and the fields of Critical and Social Theory, before narrowing its focus to social theories about the politics of popular culture and communication, and research into mass communication, globalisation and politics. Specific topics include how the relationship between communication and power affects questions of democracy, political empowerment, identity formation, propaganda and public opinion. The course then looks at the role of communication in the organisation of governance and politics before branching out to examine the relationship between communication and globalisation, including the literature on cultural imperialism, global culture and the network society.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Identify and understand the role of communications in global politics, culture and society and the process of globalisation;
  2. Evaluate the differing theoretical approaches for studying communication, power and political organisation;
  3. Apply various analytical frameworks to empirical cases of globalisation, communications, culture and democracy; and
  4. Demonstrate sound research and writing skills.

Indicative Assessment


Applied Empirical Research Project (1,000 words) 30% (L.O. 2, 3 & 4);

Participation 10% (L.O. 1& 2);

Essay Plan (1,000 words) 10% (L.O. 1, 3 & 4)

Major Research Essay (4,000) 50% (L.O. 1, 3 & 4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours. Students will attend 2 x 1 hour lecture, a 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks, and undertake 7 hours per week independent study.

Prescribed Texts

Norris, P. (2001). A virtuous Circle: political Communication in post-industrial societies. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Norris, P. (2009). Cosmopolitan Communications: Cultural Diversity in a Globalised World. Cambridge, CUP.

Street, J. (2001). Mass Media, Politics and Democracy. New York, Palgrave.

Bang, H. (2003). Governance as Social and Political Communication. Manchester, Manchester University Press.

Preliminary Reading

Esser & Pfetch (2005) Comparing Political Communication: Theories, Cases, and Challenges

Norris, P. (2009). Cosmopolitan Communications: Cultural Diversity in a Globalised World. Cambridge, CUP.

Curran, J. and D. Morely, Eds. (2006). Media and Cultural Theory. London, Routledge.

Bang, H. (2003). Governance as Social and Political Communication. Manchester, Manchester University Press.

Constantinou, C. (2008). Cultures and Politics of Global Communication. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Street, J. (2001). Mass Media, Politics and Democracy. New York, Palgrave.

Assumed Knowledge

Introductory Social Science background




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3216
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4818 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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