Australian Politics in a Global Context - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Critique - Reading Critique (10%) , Essay 1 - Minor Essay (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as PLT110 Australian Politics in a Global Context.

In this unit, we critically assess Australian politics from the perspective of political and economic history, through the lens of social power and financial interests, and drilling down into contemporary debates about economic crisis, globalisation, nationalism, environmental catastrophe and war. With this approach in mind, we examine key Australian political institutions, ideologies, and issues.  What is the nature of Australia’s key political institutions (the Constitution, the High Court, Federalism, Government and Parliament), and are they democratic and just? Could we live without them?  What are some of the radical critiques of these institutions and the interests they serve?  What is ‘Australia’, after all – a unified nation of peoples with shared identities and interests, or a construct that serves wealth and power by masking deep social fractures, or something else again?  These questions should be seen as an entrée to Australian politics before embarking on the more in-depth companion unit, Contemporary Issues in Australian Politics, POIX201.

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

  1. identify the key issues regarding the relationship between globalisation and Australia's domestic politics
  2. describe the central features of Australia's main political institutions - including the Constitution, Federalism, the High Court, Parliament, elections and the two party system - and to understand the ways in which globalisation constrains and influences them
  3. distinguish between, and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of, the key ideologies that have informed political discourse in this country
  4. give an articulate account of at least one contemporary political issue in this country, and say how it has been influenced, if at all, by intensified globalisation.
  • Critique — Reading Critique (10%)
  • Essay 1 — Minor Essay (30%)
  • Essay 2 — Major Essay (45%)
  • Participation (15%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PLT110 — Australian Politics in a Global Context
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Part One (weeks 1-3) covers important political developments in Australian since Federation
2Part 1: WWI, the Great Depression, WWII
3Part 1: The Dismissal, and politics since the neo-liberal era of the late-1970s onwards
4Part Two (weeks 4-9) explores Australia's institutions
5Part 2: The Australian Constitution, the High Court, and Federalism
6Part 2: The Executive and Parliament
7Part 2: Australia's political parties
8Part 2: Ideas and ideologies supporting and sustaining these institutions
9Part Three (weeks 10-13) critically evaluates the major debates, issues, and interests of Australian politics and society in a global context.
10Part 3: The impacts of economic crisis
11Part 3: Neo-liberalism
12Part 3: Globalisation
13Part 3: Environmentalism
14Part 3: `Americanization'

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

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

Online materials

  • Resources and 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.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • The Australian Political System in Action

    By:N Miragliotta, W Errington

    ISBN: 9780195518368


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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