The Global Governance of Technology

Subject POLS90051 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

International relations, international history, political science/theory, sociology (Science & Tech. Studies)

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 Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Daniel Mccarthy


Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to theoretical approaches that move beyond stale technological determinist or instrumentalist approaches – the dominant traditional take on technology within politics and international relations – to outline new work that stresses the socially constructed and inherently political nature of technological objects. It will offer students clear outlines of the main emerging theoretical approaches to the politics of technology, discussing approaches such as the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT), Actor-Network Theory (ANT), the Critical Theory of Technology, and poststructuralist engagements such as the ‘New Materialism’ in order to give students the theoretical background to approach the politics of technology in a sophisticated manner. It aims to introduce students to different approaches to technology in global politics through a survey of traditional and emerging theoretical approaches to this subject matter and, in turn, how such theoretical approaches can be used to analysis the diverse international political processes of Internet governance, the Revolution in Military Affairs, Nuclear Weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction, Technologies of the Global Economy, and the technological politics of climate change.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • gain knowledge of the different theoretical approaches to understanding technology within social theory and International Relations; and
  • have an awareness of technological determinism, path dependency and their place in analyzing global politics; and
  • demonstrate how different theories approach and analyze the politics of technology in specific issue areas; how different concepts have different political implications; and
  • learn how to structure and present an argument in both oral and written communication; the appropriate use of evidence to support an argument; the development of research skills.
  • Essay, 2,000 words, (40%), due in week 6 of Semester.
  • Essay, 3,000 words, (60%), due in the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Reading will be provided via LMS.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Student who successfully complete this subject should:

  • demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills; and
  • demonstrate the ability to craft a logical, well-structured, and empirically support argument; and
  • demonstrate the ability to critically examine theoretical concepts and how concepts are employed in concrete analysis; and
  • illustrate the ability to employ theoretical concepts in empirical analysis in their own work.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of International Relations
200 Point Master of International Relations

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