Australian Politics:Democracy & Justice

Subject POLS40002 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

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:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Undergraduate level

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:


Prof Brian Galligan


Professor Brian Galligan

Subject Overview:

This subject will investigate how Australian constitutional democracy has been structured and how it has defined and developed citizenship and protected human rights. To address these issues students will investigate questions such as, How was Australian democracy institutionalised, and how are those institutions coping today? Is Australia's federalism dysfunctional and what should be done to fix it? How have Australia's traditions of citizenship and human rights been conceptualised and implemented? How are citizenship and human rights connected with broader issues of democracy and constitutional structure? Does Australia need to reconceptualise and reform its regimes for citizenship and human rights? What is social justice? How should governments ensure appropriate social and economic entitlements? Students should gain a critical understanding of contemporary issues concerning Australian democracy, citizenship, individual and group rights, social justice, Aboriginal self-determination, the impact of globalisation and treaty making, women's rights, multiculturalism and immigration.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have developed skills in analysing and explaining key developments in Australian politics relating to institutional design, citizenship and protection rights;
  • be familiar with different methods and approaches for studying Australian politics;
  • have an understanding of the main developments in Australian politics in this area, including their historical background and contemporary context;
  • be informed of key current issues facing Australian politics and their likely impact on public policy.

A review essay of 750 words (15%) due early in semester, a research paper of 3000 words (60%) due in the examination period, and a group project equivalent to 1250 words (25%) due in the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Regular participation in class 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: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • be able to develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Criminology
100 Point Master of Journalism
150 Point Master of Criminology
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Criminology
200 Point Master of Journalism
200 points Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
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Public Policy and Management
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Socio-Legal Studies
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