Contemporary Political and Social Theory

Subject 166-407 (2008)

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

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - 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: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in political science or postgraduate programs in political science.
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:


Dr Adrian Little
Subject Overview:

This subject examines contemporary debates in political and social theory with a particular focus on developments within and challenges to liberal democracy. Initially the difficulties of liberalism in the face of social change will be analysed in the light of theories of postmodernism, postindustrialism and McDonaldisation. From this basis recent theories of democratic renewal are discussed including those concerned with the 'Third Way', social capital and civil society. Alternative theories of political renewal in complex, pluralistic societies will then be examined focusing in particular on the way that they understand violence, disagreement and incivility. The subject concludes by evaluating recent radical democratic theories which are concerned with establishing a new ethical framework through which we can rethink political disagreement.

Assessment: An essay of 5000 words 100% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • possess the ability to explain and analyse complex ideas in a lucid fashion;

  • be capable or organising their work into a coherent structured argument;

  • be able to identify and access relevant research to the topic;

  • display evidence of an analytical approach to theoretical debates;

  • be able to explain the implications of theories for practical politics;

  • demonstrate a thorough and critical understanding of the literature relevant to the topic.

Related Course(s): Master of International Politics
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (International Politics)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Political Science)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Sociology)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (International Politics)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Political Science)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Sociology)

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