This course examines Australian politics from a historical perspective, beginning with the autocracy of the colonial governors and extending to the present day. It explores the foundation and working of democracy, the formation of the party system, and the relationship of politics to broader transformations in society. The first part follows a chronological structure, while the second examines a range of themes including federalism, state government, rural politics, Indigenous politics, the media and the role of emotions in political mobilisation. The aim is to provide students with a historical grounding in the main political trends, personalities, and ideologies since 1788.
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:
- Explain the origins and development of institutions, practices and ideologies in Australian politics;
- Identify change and continuity in Australian politics across more than two centuries;
- Analyse the relationship between political stability and change, and broader transformations in Australian society and culture;
- Appreciate the capacity of historical approaches to generate insights into the political past and present;
- Locate and interpret primary sources, and use them in constructing coherent and persuasive historical questions and answers; and,
- Locate and evaluate secondary authorities, and use them to construct coherent and persuasive historical questions and answers.
1st Essay 2000 words (40%): Assesses learning outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6
2nd Essay 2500 words (50%): Assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6
Tutorial participation (10%): Assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4.
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 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 tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
tutorial readings will be made available to students via WATTLE
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.