Whether as a philosopher, a lawyer, an activist, a politician, a writer, a diplomat, or a citizen, we face a global world whose enormous challenges require an ability to understand the relationship between law’s own discourse and other forms of thinking about and communicating it. From a legal point of view, the Constitution may refer to a specific document or set of documents. But legal theorists and philosophers recognize that this institutional form is only the tip of the iceberg. Law, as an expression of collective belonging, is constituted through images and metaphors that bring its concepts to life. As the famous frontispiece to Thomas Hobbes' classic work Leviathan depicts, ‘the body politic' is not a ready-made entity, but a complex composition from disparate elements. The problem of how legal order is generated and maintained brings it into close relationship with social, political and aesthetic forms. The shape of our collective relationship to a legal and social order is constantly being made, remade, and unmade.
This course draws on the resources of critical theory, philosophy, aesthetics, and legal scholarship, to interrogate urgent contemporary problems pertaining to the establishment and maintenance of legal order and public identity, examining the terms on which we speak of sovereignty, democracy, rights, citizenship, and State violence. Our interdisciplinary analysis relates these terms to the wider representational frames they inhabit; explores contemporary sites of constitution and deconstitution, including through art, media, and protest; and introduces students to relevant methods and theories.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:This course encourages students to develop advanced skills in dealing with interdisciplinary materials, complex theoretical concepts and analytic frameworks. Students will be encouraged to develop oral and written communication, critical and creative thinking, independent critical thought, and to further their understanding of the relationship between law, philosophy, culture, and justice.
By the conclusion of this course, students who have successfully completed all of the requirements will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Define and critically analyse keywords and contemporary debates shared across the disciplines of law, legal theory, and philosophy, including sovereignty, constitution, legitimacy, democracy, exclusion, & citizenship.
2. Compare, contrast and reflect on contemporary scholarship on and critical approaches to citizenship, globalization, democracy & political sovereignty.
3. Recognise, distinguish and appraise research and methods in the fields of legal theory, contemporary philosophy and political theory, with specific reference to the case studies chosen during the course to illustrate, particularize, and interrogate these fields.
4. Understand the relationship between legal and philosophical frameworks and assumptions in the construction and delimitation of legal order in the modern world.
5. Evaluate and compare a complex variety of textual sources from a range of different disciplines and genres, and critically analyse their strategies, blind spots, problems, and effects.
6. Independently problem-solve by evaluating, planning, and executing advanced interdisciplinary scholarship and research.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment is likely to include class participation and three short pieces of written work which build interdisciplinary, research and theoretical skills over the term, before undertaking a research essay of the appropriate length
1. Three short response essays over the term: 600 words each, value 10% eachRelates to learning outcomes 1, 2, 4
2. Final research essay: 3,500 words, value 60%Relates to learning outcomes 1—6, esp. 3, 5, 6
3. Class participation, 10% relates to learning outcomes 1—6
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.
Workload3 hours face to face + 6 hours preparation time per week
Requisite and Incompatibility
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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|10115||23 Jul 2018||30 Jul 2018||31 Aug 2018||26 Oct 2018||In Person||N/A|