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  3. Political Problems and Policy Responses

Political Problems and Policy Responses (PPMN90042)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePPMN90042
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject is designed to introduce students to key ideas from political science, providing a foundation for further study in governance, public policy and public management and should be undertaken early in the 200-point Master of Public Policy and Management. Students will problematise policy issues and construct a range of possible policy responses based on fundamental political concepts such as rights, liberalism and democracy. We will consider how these concepts have and continue to shape the practice of politics and government in Australia and elsewhere. We will then focus in on the role and function of key political actors and institutions paying particular attention to how they influence and impact on public policy processes and outcomes. Upon completion of this subject, students will be familiar with the major theoretical concepts, institutions and actors in political science that are most relevant to public governance, public policy and public sector management.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:

  • Identify, compare and explain major traditions, trends and challenges and reforms in contemporary political debates and processes of public policy making with an appreciation of the expectations and roles of key actors and institutions in sub-national, national, regional and international contexts
  • Comfortably and assuredly work with complexity in terms of information to creatively and expertly distinguish between different dilemmas and opportunities
  • Engage in more abstract or esoteric discussions and be able to summarise, synthesise and meaningfully translate into non-specialist language
  • Clearly and persuasively communicate with an awareness of cultural norms and sensitivities as well as agility to shift from shorter briefings to longer, detailed presentations
  • Assemble and critique case studies
  • Consider the importance of upholding at times distinctive public sector ethics and values in making decisions

Generic skills

Students who successfully complete this subject should have:

  • in-depth knowledge of the disciplines of political science and policy and administration, and the ability to examine governance, policy and public sector reform issues from other disciplinary perspectives.
  • critical and strong reasoning skills, and creativity in applying theory and research methods to complex practical problems across diverse contexts.
  • effective oral and written communication skills.
  • an advanced appreciation of the Asian and Pacific regions, including Indigenous knowledge, cultures and values and sustainable futures.
  • autonomy, self-motivation, self-direction and outstanding organisational skills to set goals and manage time and priorities.
  • skills in self-assessment, self-awareness, reflective and lifelong learning, with an overriding commitment to personal and professional integrity.

Last updated: 3 August 2019