- Code POLS2063
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Political Science
- Areas of interest Political Sciences
- Academic career UGRD
- Simon Cotton
- Mode of delivery In Person
Second Semester 2019
See Future Offerings
This course is a survey of central issues in contemporary normative (i.e., ethical or evaluative) political theory. Both abstract topics and applied questions are considered. The former include: the legitimacy of state authority and corresponding obligation to obey the law, liberal-egalitarianism, libertarianism, and philosophical socialism. In addressing these topics, we consider the views of leading twentieth-century scholars, including John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and G.A. Cohen. The applied topics include free speech, minority cultural rights, gender equality, immigration restrictions, and global distributive justice. Students are shown how to connect everyday political conversation with some of the leading ideas in political theory and, ideally, to tune their ear to conceptual incoherence and logical inconsistency in the former.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate an ability to understand, and critically assess, arguments made in normative political theory;
- demonstrate an ability to coherently formulate a normative thesis, and to defend it through argument;
- demonstrate an ability to anticipate, formulate, and effectively respond to counterarguments; and
- demonstrate an ability to gather and critically organize a variety of scholarly sources in a way that engages relevant literature.
- Essay, 2500-2700 words (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Exam, 2 hours (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Tutorial work (10) [LO 1,2]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and,
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsReadings will be provided.
It is recommended that students first take POLS2119 Ideas in Politics.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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