• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

When the Rudd Labor Government was elected in November 2007, social inclusion became a government priority.  Lying behind government policy rhetoric about social inclusion is the idea that individuals who are marginalized or excluded from the mainstream need to be more connected to the community.  The idea that social networks (social capital) can help in the fight against poverty and social exclusion is also being promoted by major development institutions such as the World Bank.  But is social capital the answer? 

This course gives students the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of one of the most important concepts driving developments in social policy, both in Australia and internationally.  The course examines different theoretical perspectives and critiques of those perspectives and explores the ways in which the concept of social capital is being applied through examples and case studies taken from a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  demonstrate an understanding of the different ways academics have conceptualized social capital and social exclusion

2.  demonstrate an understanding of the critiques of each conceptualisation

3.  demonstrate an understanding of the policy implications of the different ways of thinking about social capital

4.  demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between social capital and social exclusion

5.  critically assess structure and arguments in an academic paper or article

Indicative Assessment

Essay  (relates to Learning Outcomes 1,2 and 3)                      50%

Two in-class quizzes (relates to Learning Outcomes 2 and 4)     40%

Peer Review Exercise (relates to Learning Outcome 5)              10%

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


30 contact hours spread over 6 days.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incomp POGO8094

Preliminary Reading

Winter, I 2000, ‘Major themes and debates in the social capital literature', in I. Winter (ed) Social capital and public policy in Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne.

Woolcock, M and Narayan, D 2006, ‘Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research and Policy Revisited' in Anthony J. Bebbington, Michael Woolcock, Scott Guggenheim and Elizabeth Olson (eds), The Search for Empowerment: Social Capital as Idea and Practice at the World Bank, Kumarian Press

These readings can be accessed through the ANU Library e-reserve system.  Students thinking about taking this course are encouraged to check out the preliminary readings to see if course content is of interest.   

Assumed Knowledge

2-3 years of work experience in the public sector or the non-government sector is essential.  Some work experience in a social policy area is desirable.


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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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