Australian Politics in the Long Run

Subject POLS30007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours per semester (One x 2.5-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks).
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies or Sociology at Levels 1 & 2

Non Allowed Subjects:

POLS30007 Change and Conflict in Australian Society

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof John Murphy


Subject Overview:

This subject is an opportunity to study Australian politics over historical time, by examining points of crisis and conflict in our history, as well as by assessing the apparent resilience of our political structures. Wars and economic crises send shudders through political systems, but ours has been relatively stable, although the party system has had its ruptures. Aspects covered will include the development and current state of the mass party system, and the shifting relationships of both federalism and of executive government. We will also examine how the political system has responded, or failed to respond, to significant social changes such as the development of a multicultural society, and recognition of our geographical location in the Asia-Pacific, and to the challenges of social movements such as the women's, indigenous and environmental movements. Can our political system adapt, or is it broken? Is the party system dead, or just changing? Are our political traditions and ideologies exhausted, or are they morphing under new conditions? The subject is based on the proposition that one fruitful way to tackle such questions and assess our present is to understand the historical trajectories of key features of the Australian political system.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • demonstrate a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of key developments in Australian political institutions and practices over time;
  • demonstrate conceptual sophistication in the analysis of the ideologies and traditions of political actors, social movements and parties;
  • demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the historical development of the Australian party system and its contemporary challenges;
  • develop a broad understanding of how Australian developments have been affected by international crises and key events
  • demonstrate advanced level skills in critical analysis and evaluation;
  • demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate different sources of research in the development of an argument;
  • work productively and collaboratively in group.

  • A briefing paper or book review of 1000 words (25%) due Week 7.
  • A 3000 word research essay (75%) due 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% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Required readings will be available electronically on the subject LMS site.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Sociology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Sociology
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies

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