• Class Number 4390
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Melinda Cooper
    • AsPr Melinda Cooper
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course explores the topical phenomenon of populism from a sociological perspective. Topics covered include:

1) What is populism? Politics offers the most common definition of populism today: social movements and parties that claim to be 'of the people' and 'against the elite'. But is this sufficient?

2) Populism, class and producerism: how does populism mobilise traditional markers of working class belonging while simplifying or distorting the actual stratifications of class today;

3) The role of gender and racial backlash: how are gender, sexual and racial minorities constituted as enemies of the people;

4) Populism and neoliberalism: the relationship between populist backlash and free market neoliberalism, from Thatcher and Reagan to today;

5) Populism of the left and right: what distinguishes populism from mainstream politics and how is it mobilised by both the left and right.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. recognise some key controversies and debates within the literature on populism;
  2. identify the basic elements of dispute within a theoretical or methodological perspective;
  3. display skills associated with scholarly inquiry about populism including those related to critical analysis, argument and written expression; and
  4. express ideas in writing with conceptual coherence.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course overview — Lecture/No tutorial
2 What is Populism? — Lecture and tutorial
3 Who Are the People? — Lecture and tutorial
4 Populism and Neoliberalism I — Lecture and tutorial
5 Populism and Class I: Producerism — Lecture and tutorial
6 Populism and Class II: Tradies and Latte Sippers — Lecture and tutorial
7 New Sociologies of Populism — Lecture and tutorial
8 Populism and the Frankfurt School — Lecture and tutorial
9 Populism and Conspiracy — Lecture and tutorial
10 Populism, Conspiracy and New Media — Lecture and tutorial
11 Populism and Neoliberalism II — Lecture and tutorial
12 Left-Wing Populism? — Lecture and tutorial
13 Lecture only

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date
Short Essay 40 % 03/04/2023
Long Essay 50 % 01/06/2023
Participation 10 % *

* 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills 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.


Active participation in tutorials is expected. The tutorials are real learning spaces. I am not looking for fully formed ideas so much as active engagement and questioning.

Each student (alone or with one other student) will be allocated a Tutorial to which they will be required to make a brief introduction/facilitation outlining the key points from a required reading. This will contribute to the Tutorial Work mark. As facilitator, you will be expected to take on of the role of ‘discussion leader’, not become an ‘instant expert’ on the material. More than anything else I am interested in your honest reaction to the set reading in terms of (i) any difficulties in comprehension (ii) your reaction to the argument(s) within the reading. Please avoid over-summarizing the set reading. While you’ll certainly need notes and some may prefer to write down in advance most of what you say, please avoid ‘reading out’ an essay-like text. Instead address the group in a more everyday style. My role often includes ‘interrupting’ the presenters just to make sure everyone is following the discussion, especially if I think a concept needs further unpacking or is worthy of immediate discussion.



Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 03/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 

Short Essay

This essay covers content in the first six weeks of lectures. Word count is 1500 words, excluding references. This essay will contribute to 40% of total marks. Assessment criteria include (a) the presence of an argument (summarizing is not sufficient) (b) competence in written expression and citation practices. (c) location of your discussion within the relevant concerns and concepts of this course (I appreciate that this will be written at an early stage in course).  

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 01/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 

Long Essay

This essay covers content in Weeks 7 to 12 of the course. Word count is 3000 words, excluding references. This essay will contribute to 50% of total marks. Assessment is based on the following criteria (a) the presence of an organising argument which addresses the particular question chosen (b) competence in written expression and citation practices; (c) demonstration of familiarity with relevant ‘prescribed’ course content i.e. the set readings and substantive lecture material; (d) demonstration of familiarity with elements and positions of the relevant thematic debates present within course content and readings (and to which the lectures/seminars provide a critical guide).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

I endeavour to return all assignments with marks and feedback within three weeks at maximum.

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).

AsPr Melinda Cooper

Research Interests

neoliberalism, new social conservatisms, populism, the far right, new sociologies of capitalism

AsPr Melinda Cooper

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Melinda Cooper

Research Interests

AsPr Melinda Cooper

By Appointment
By Appointment

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