Democracy, Terrorism and Violence

Subject POLS30025 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

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 and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Levels 1 & 2

Non Allowed Subjects:

672-390 Democracy, Terrorism and Violence

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. Adrian Little:

Subject Overview:

Democracy is popularly regarded as the fairest system of government. Yet it is a widely and deeply contested concept in political theory. In practice it can vary from the highly participatory to the narrowly elitist. This subject examines the key concepts in democratic theory and the ways in which they are employed in different political ideologies and movements. It identifies the main principles in which are invoked to support the political structures of different societies. In so doing the subject analyses concepts such as freedom, equality and rights and their implications for the nature of democracy and the organization of the state and civil society. It will also explain the different forms of political agency that exist in democracies from the nation to the community and the individual. in recent years the ideals of democracy have been challenged through the emergence of terrorism, the growth of violence perpetrated by democracies, and attendant issues such as the displacement of people, migration and policies on refugees. This subject examines the status of democracy in the world today and the implications of contemporary challenges for the future of democracy.

  • To introduce students to the main models and theories of democracy.
  • To critically examine the concepts and principles of liberal democracy.
  • To analyse alternative conceptions to liberal democracy in democratic theory.
  • To evaluate the relationship between the state and democracy in the light of debates around civil society and globalization.
  • To assess the roles of individuals and political community in the origanization of contemporary democracies.
  • To evaluate the implications of pluralism and multiculturalism for democratic theory.
  • To examine the role of violence, terrorism and conflict in democratic theory.
  • To analyse the role of markets and economic rationality in democratic societies.

A 2000-word essay (50%) due mid-semester, and a 2-hour exam (50%) scheduled during the examination period.

This subject has a minimum Hurdle Requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

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. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

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:
  • demonstrate written communication skills in the construction and articulation of a fluent argument.
  • show the ability to conduct appropriate research into a topic through selecting and accessing relevant literature and resources.
  • be able to address a topic from a critical, analytical approach.
  • demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the appropriate literature and research.
  • show an awareness of the issues in the practical application of theoretical debates.

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

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory Major
Socio-legal Studies Major

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