• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Simon Cotton
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course is a survey of central issues in contemporary normative (i.e., ethical or evaluative) political theory. Both abstract topics and applied questions are considered. The former include: the legitimacy of state authority and corresponding obligation to obey the law, liberal-egalitarianism, libertarianism, and philosophical socialism. In addressing these topics, we consider the views of leading twentieth-century scholars, including John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and G.A. Cohen. The applied topics include free speech, minority cultural rights, gender equality, immigration restrictions, and global distributive justice. 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.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate an ability to understand, and critically assess, arguments made in normative political theory;
  2. demonstrate an ability to coherently formulate a normative thesis, and to defend it through argument;
  3. demonstrate an ability to anticipate, formulate, and effectively respond to counterarguments; and
  4. demonstrate an ability to gather and critically organize a variety of scholarly sources in a way that engages relevant literature.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Essay, 2500-2700 words (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Exam, 2 hours (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Tutorial work (10) [LO 1,2]

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Workload

130 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 tutorials; and,

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Political Science (POLS) or Philosophy (PHIL) courses, or with permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Readings will be provided.

Assumed Knowledge

It is recommended that students first take POLS2119 Ideas in Politics.

Majors

Minors

Fees

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:
1
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8823 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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