Political Economy

Subject POLS20031 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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: Thirty 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 Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 points of first year Politics and International Studies, or one of the Faculty of Arts' Interdisciplinary Foundation (IDF) subjects.
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: First year Politics and International Studies
Non Allowed Subjects:

Any of the following subjects:

166-012 Australian Political Economy

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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Prof Brian Galligan


Prof. Brian Galligan


Subject Overview:

This subject studies liberal and critical theories of political economy. It focuses on the roles and institutions of government and markets. how these have been defined traditionally and have been changing over time. Select current issues and debates are included to illustrate the complex interdependencies of government and business in modern liberal democracies like that of Australia. These will include globalization, deregulation and privatization, public-private partnerships, competition policy and corporate social responsibility. Students who complete this subject should have an understanding of key theoretical contemporary aspects of political economy that inform current developments in, and debates about business and government.

  • have an understanding of liberal and critical theories of political economy that are relevant for understanding Australian history and practice.
  • be familiar with the Australian political economy tradition and current debates over the roles of government and the market.
  • have studied some of the major issues of public policy and economic management facing Australia today.
  • have the skills to critically evaluate proposals for restructuring government and adopting market solutions for public purposes.
Assessment: A short review paper of 500 words (15%) due mid-semester, a research paper of 1500 words (40%) due end of semester, and a 2-hour exam (45%) held during the examination period.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

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
Generic Skills:
  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays.
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations.
  • be able to communicate knowledge ideologically and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion.
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision.
  • be able to participate in team work through small group discussions.
Notes: Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics && International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies

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