Subject 100-185 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: 36 contact hours per semester; 30 hours of class preparation and reading per semester; 30 hours of assessment-related tasks per semester; 96 hours total time commitment per semester; 8 hours total time commitment per week.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Sean Scalmer
Subject Overview:

This subject offers a sustained analysis of the past, present, and future of democracy. First, it introduces students to the primary elements of democratic theory. Second, it traces the shifting place of democratic principles in political life from the ancient to the modern world. Third, it analyses the historical struggle to extend those principles in new directions. Finally, it identifies key tensions and possibilities in democratic practice over the coming years. The subject moves historically from the ancient world to possible futures and traverses a geography from Europe to Asia, the Americas and Africa. It examines the democratic struggles of the colonised, the working class, and women and ponders the current and possible future connections between democracy and the media, the environment, and the economy.

Subject Objectives

Students who complete this subject should:

  • be familiar with central debates in democratic theory;
  • be able to critically apply these theories to researching and understanding particular historical and contemporary cases;
  • recognise the diversity of political forms that claim adherence to ‘democratic' principles;
  • be able to identify the exclusions and limitations that underlie particular examples of democratic governance;
  • appreciate the historical conditions that might contribute to expanding or restricting the franchise, scope and authenticity of democratic rule.

Assessment: 1. A bibliographical exercise of 500 words (10%), due early in the semester;2. A research essay of 1500 words (40%), due late in the semester;3. A two-hour exam (worth 50%), in the examination period.Students must attend a minimum of nine tutorials, demonstrate familiarity with online resources, and participate in the Faculty of Arts online learning community in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the University bookshop and readings will be available online through the LMS.
Breadth Options:

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

  • Bachelor of Biomedicine
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Environments
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering

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
Generic Skills: Students who complete this subject should:
  • understand a range of disciplines and methodologies appropriate to the texts, artefacts, theoretical structures and social practices with which they are concerned;
  • have developed a capacity for critical thought and analysis through the construction and articulation of lucid, logical arguments;
  • have developed oral and written skills through essay writing and tutorial participation;
  • have acquired the tools for independent and targeted research, using library and other information services;
  • have the ability to organise and manage their time through the planning of class assessments and the meeting of set due dates.
Notes: This is an Arts Faculty Interdisciplinary Foundation subject. BA students are required to complete two of these subjects during first year.

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