Subject details

At the end of this subject students will be able to:

  1. analyse and express their judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  2. read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts
  3. think more critically and systematically about politics and the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  4. give an account of some central political ideologies, their origins and their historical development.
    • Theory and politics
    • The Greek Polis
    • The Sophists and Socrates
    • Philosophy, Rhetoric and Politics
    • Plato on Politics as an Art
    • Aristotle on Politics, Rhetoric, and the Human Good
    • Thomas More - Utopia
    • Machiavelli on Power, Virtue and Politics
    • Thomas Hobbes, the English Civil War, and the New Civil Science
    • The Concept of Ideology and Nationalism
    • Liberalism
    • Against Ideology? Conservatism
    • Fundamentalism
    • The Contemporary Scene - the end or the resurgence of ideology?
    • Unit summary and revision
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links

Equivalent subjects

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

  • MAQ-PLTX107


If you have no prior university experience, you should complete BAR100 Academic Learning Skills or COM10006 Academic Literacies: Learning and Communication Practice before starting this subject.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as PLTX107 Thinking Politically.

We often think politically without being aware of it. When we say that some people in our society have not been treated justly or when we condemn violence and injustice in other societies, we are making political judgements and using political concepts. How does our sense of fairness or our compassion in cases such as these relate to our political judgements? This subject explores key political concepts such as justice, equality, democracy and the rule of the law as well as the role of morality in political judgement. We also consider the concept of ideology and examine particular ideologies including: liberalism, nationalism, conservatism and fundamentalism. Among the selected readings for this subject are the classics of political thought such as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli and Hobbes.

  • Essay (30%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Reading (20%)

Related degrees

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2018

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology