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This subject is an introduction to contemporary Australian politics with an emphasis on what makes Australia unique and with an assessment of how democratic institutions have developed over time. In addition to examining the formal political system, we will also be debating the role of citizenship and participation in Australian political culture. So while dealing with institution arrangements such as parliament, the executive, the bureaucracy, policy-making, federalism and the High Court, we will also look at citizens’ activism, in social movements as well as in political parties, and examine key theoretical arguments and political ideologies. The subject is based on the proposition that politics is important because it is how we shape our future.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- understand key foundations and critical concepts in the discipline of political science;
- demonstrate a detailed and critical understanding of the institutions of Australian democracy;
- develop an understanding of competing interpretations of political ideologies, ideas and arguments about the role of citizens in a democracy;
- demonstrate the ability to engage critically and insightfully in contemporary political debates;
- demonstrate the development of skills in critical analysis and evaluation as applied to Australian politics;
- demonstrate the ability to argue a considered position in oral and written presentations;
- work respectfully and productively in small and large groups with other students.
Last updated: 1 June 2020