- 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 Philosophy, Political Sciences
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
The past hundred years have seen monumental and rapid socio-political changes around the world, which have transformed the way we live our lives. If we are to understand how we got to where we are, and ensure that we build just societies into the future, we need to grapple with the ideas and ideologies that continue to drive social, political, and economic change. This course invites students to do so, by surveying the central ideas and thinkers in contemporary normative (i.e., ethical or evaluative) political theory. The first half of the course looks at influential schools of political thought: authoritarianism and totalitarianism, Rawlsian liberalism, liberal-egalitarianism, libertarianism, and feminism. This will give students a firm theoretical foundation upon which to analyse and critique applied topics in contemporary politics during the second half of the course. These topics include: free speech, the design of fair voting systems, reparations, and the rights of nonhuman animals and the environment. 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 political theory;
- demonstrate an ability to coherently formulate arguments about politics;
- 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 ways that engage relevant literature.
- Short essay, 1500 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Long essay, 2500 words (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Tutorial work (participation + preparation) (20) [LO 1,2]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 35 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 11 hours of tutorials; and,
b) 95 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.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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