• Class Number 5563
  • Term Code 3040
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Joseph MacKay
    • Dr Joseph MacKay
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/04/2020
  • Class End Date 30/06/2020
  • Census Date 24/04/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 24/04/2020
SELT Survey Results

Radicals & Reactionaries introduces students to themes and ideas at the ideological extremes of world politics. The mainstream of international relations theory has long been divided between liberals and realists, attended by social constructivists, and a handful of less mainstream positions. This course will survey ideological positions to the political extremes on either side, and beyond. We will begin by considering leftist and revolutionary radicalisms, including radical Marxisms, anarchisms, and revolutionary ideas in the anticolonial tradition. In the second half of the course, we will consider conservative and reactionary international thought. The course readings will draw on theoretical works in these traditions, along with relevant secondary literature and linkages to research in IR and international history.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand concepts and debates in radical and reactionary ideologies
  2. Critically evaluate texts in radical and reactionary political thought
  3. Apply these frameworks to assess ideologies in world politics
  4. Develop strong written and oral communication skills in order to analyse and discuss radical and reactionary ideas and texts

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: Liberal and Illiberal Modernities
2 Revolution & Modernity 1: Communisms
3 Revolution & Modernity 2: Anarchisms
4 Radicalism & Empire 1: The 19th Century
5 Radicalism & Empire 2: Race and Decolonization
6 Radicalism and Gender
7 Counterrevolution: What is the Right?
8 Fascists, Nazis, Etc.
9 American Reactionaries
10 Reaction Outside the West
11 Strange Bedfellows
12 Radical and Reactionary Futures

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Seminar Participation 10 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4
Seminar Presentation 10 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4
Response Paper 1 10 % 10/04/2020 14/04/2020 1, 2, 4
Response Paper 2 10 % 17/04/2020 24/04/2020 1, 2, 4
Essay Proposal 10 % 20/04/2020 01/05/2020 1, 2, 3, 4
Research Essay 50 % 28/05/2020 11/06/2020 1, 2, 3, 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Seminar Participation

Regular participation in seminar discussions is a course requirement.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Seminar Presentation

Each class, one student will make a short presentation (about ten minutes), based on the assigned texts, as well as one or two related extras, and lead a classroom discussion based on it. For each session, presentation questions are listed, along with some additional readings for the presenter to draw on. The presenter will speak for 8-10 minutes, then offer some discussion questions for the class.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 10/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 14/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4

Response Paper 1

What, in general terms, is radicalism? What is its relationship to world politics? Illustrate with examples from the assigned texts. Answer with reference to texts listed on this syllabus only—no outside research permitted. 500 words.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 17/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 24/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4

Response Paper 2

What, in general terms, is political reaction? What is its relationship to world politics? Illustrate with examples from the assigned texts. Answer with reference to texts listed on this syllabus only—no outside research permitted. 500 words.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 20/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Essay Proposal

Describe how you will answer your chosen essay question. State your proposed thesis or argument. Identify the theorists you will address, any particular aspect of world politics you will focus on, additional literatures you will draw on, and any specific ways you will narrow down the question. 500 words. Due: Monday after last day of class, 11:55pm.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 28/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 11/06/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research Essay

Write a 3000-word research paper, answering one of the essay questions to be distributed in class. Your essay should be clearly written and well structured, advancing a cogent and unified argument. Research may include additional works by the theorists you focus on, secondary literature on their works, historical work on the events they contended with, or empirical work on specific events or phenomena you are dealing with. Due end of term.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Joseph MacKay

Research Interests

Dr Joseph MacKay

By Appointment
Dr Joseph MacKay

Research Interests

Dr Joseph MacKay

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions