Justice, Democracy and Difference

Subject 166-416 (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 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: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: *
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in political science, public policy and management or socio-legal studies, or postgraduate coursework programs in public policy or political science.
Corequisites: *
Recommended Background Knowledge: *
Non Allowed Subjects: *
Core Participation Requirements: *


Assoc Prof Robyn Eckersley
Subject Overview:

This subject provides a critical examination of contemporary debates about ideas of justice, democracy and the politics of difference. The subject critically explores both the major liberal approaches to justice alongside critiques of liberal approaches by communitarian, socialist, feminist, postmodern and radical ecological theorists. Students will be introduced to the different perspectives on justice in terms of their linkages and, in some cases, increasing convergence with different approaches to dealing with democracy and difference. Particular emphasis is given to the tensions between cosmopolitan versus communitarian approaches to ordering political life and the tensions between arguments for individual versus group/communal rights. The different perspectives on justice, democracy and difference are analysed and applied in relation to a range of contemporary political conflicts concerning race, ethnicity, class, gender, the environmental justice movement and the multicultural state. Examples include political claims for the recognition of ethnic minority rights; the political recognition of religious, ethnic and/or gender difference; the special or weighted political representation or veto rights of ethnic minorities; the different political interpretations of, and priorities accorded to, the human rights agenda; and claims for self-determination by indigenous peoples and national minorities.

Assessment: An essay of 5000 words 100% (due at the end of semester) or an essay of 2500 words 50% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2500 words 50% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be provided
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;

  • have developed persuasive arguments on a given topic;

  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Public Policy and Management(Honours)
Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Master of International Politics
Master of International Studies
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Development Studies)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (International Politics)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Political Science)
Postgraduate Certificate in International Studies
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (International Politics)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Political Science)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Public Policy and Management)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Socio-Legal Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts(Development Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in International Studies

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