Political Economy

Subject POLS20031 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

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:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Level 1

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 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 Andrew Walter, Prof Brian Galligan


Prof Brian Galligan galligan@unimelb.edu.au

Prof Andrew Walter andrew.walter@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject applies theories of political economy to issues of domestic and global concern. It focuses on the roles and institutions of government and markets, how these have been defined traditionally and how they have been changing over time. Select current issues and debates are examined to illustrate the complex interdependencies of government, markets and business in modern liberal democracies like that of Australia. These will include globalization, neo-liberalism, economic regulation and deregulation, international trade, and governance of financial crises. Students who complete this subject should have an understanding of major theoretical controversies and issues in political economy that inform contemporary developments in, and debates about the relationship between governments, business and markets.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Understand the main concepts and theories of political economy, the interrelationship of government and markets, and appreciate the political circumstances and causes of economic policies;
  • Have developed critical skills in evaluating and applying concepts and theories of political economy, be able to identify and evaluate their application, and understand the changing roles of government and markets with globalisation;
  • Develop the facility to evaluate positions and policies that individuals and governments take on economic policy, and to relate these to underlying theories and ongoing debates as well as to practice;
  • Develop skills in researching major topics, understanding the ways in which political economy phenomena can be investigated and articulated, and be able to use these in their own research and formulating their view points;
  • Be informed of ethical standards and practices, and how these are to inform research;
  • Appreciate and be practiced in group participation;
  • Communicate their own views in professional ways, and refine their ability to develop coherent and persuasive arguments;
  • Have a facility for individual research and critical evaluation of sources, and be able to formulate their own informed views.


A research paper of 2000 words (50%) due mid-semester, and a 2-hour exam (50%) held during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: 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

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

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies

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