Democracy and Dictatorship - 2017

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Reflective Journal (30%) , Assignment 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,200.00
International 2,450.00

This unit explores the forces that have shaped modern history of Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and examines the evolution of specific nations, such as Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, China or Japan. Why do some states have strong civil societies and others do not? Is there a long-term trend towards democracy? Students will explore such questions by looking at the different paths of political development taken by individual states. The question of which form of government best serves the needs of modern nations is important both for the states themselves and for the international community, especially Australia.

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At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. explain the different paths of political development that Asian nations have taken
  2. assess the appropriateness of various social and political explanations for these different historical experiences
  3. synthesise relevant information to develop an argument about processes of historical change
  4. collaboratively or individually present a reasoned argument.
  • Assignment 1 — Reflective Journal (30%)
  • Assignment 2 (30%)
  • Assignment 3 — Major Research Essay (40%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to the unit
2Indonesia: colonialism, nationalism, personalised authoritarianism
3Indonesia: the trials of new-old democracy
4People Power in Burma
5The 'semi-democracies' of Southeast Asia
6Authoritarianism v. democracy in Japan
7Indian nationalism, British democracy
8Threats to democracy in India
9China: media freedoms & constraints
10Authoritarian regimes in Asia
11The Future of Democracy in Asia
12Concluding themes

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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