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Political Economy (POLS20031)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codePOLS20031
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject applies theories of comparative and international political economy to important issues of current and historical concern. Current issues include the politics of rising income and wealth inequality; debates over redistribution via welfare and taxation in a changing global economy; the politics of international trade in democracies and non-democracies; the impact of globalisation and growth on the global environment and the politics of climate protection; the impact of the rise of China and other emerging countries on policy, politics and institutions in advanced countries; the politics of monetary and exchange rate management; the political causes of financial instability and the policy and political consequences of financial crises; and the changing nature of institutions and governance in the global political economy. There is an emphasis on understanding the comparative and the global aspects of the governance of markets by using the tools of political economy analysis. Students will receive a grounding in major theories and tools of political economy and their application to empirical issues and problems.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Understand the main concepts and theories of political economy, the interrelationship of government and markets, and appreciate the political circumstances and causes of economic policies;
  • Have developed critical skills in evaluating and applying concepts and theories of political economy, be able to identify and evaluate their application, and understand the changing roles of government and markets with globalisation;
  • Develop the facility to evaluate positions and policies that individuals and governments take on economic policy, and to relate these to underlying theories and ongoing debates as well as to practice;
  • Develop skills in researching major topics, understanding the ways in which political economy phenomena can be investigated and articulated, and be able to use these in their own research and formulating their view points;
  • Be informed of ethical standards and practices, and how these are to inform research;
  • Appreciate and be practiced in group participation;
  • Communicate their own views in professional ways, and refine their ability to develop coherent and persuasive arguments;
  • Have a facility for individual research and critical evaluation of sources, and be able to formulate their own informed views.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Politics and International Studies at Level 1

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • A research paper of 2000 words (50%) due mid-semester.
  • A 2-hour exam (50%) held during the examination period.
  • Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.
  • Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10 marks per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorAndrew Walter
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours30 contact hours per semester. 1 x two hour lecture and 1 x one hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered across the 12 weeks of semester.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

Total of 170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Readings will be provided online through the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of semester.

  • Subject notes

    Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 11 October 2019