Australian Government and Politics

Course code HIST1352Units 10Level 1000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

Focuses on the 'nuts and bolts' of the system of government and the political process in Australia. The course examines how the major institutions are supposed to work in theory and how they work in practice. A secondary theme is the way in which the form and operation of government is shaped by political forces representing wider social and economic interests and how, in turn, these pressure groups and wider interests are effected by the form of government. The course explores the extent to which the system is democratic, whether some parts of government are more powerful than others and whether there are too many or too few checks and balances on executive power. Examples of policy issues will be used to illustrate the workings of the political process.

Not available in 2015

ObjectivesUpon completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

1. A basic knowledge of the theory and practice of the Australian governmental system
2. The ability to analyse the interrelationship between this political and governmental system and outside pressure groups, interests and forces
3. The ability to identify and evaluate proposals for change in the structure and functioning of political and governmental institutions in Australia.
4. The ability to draw on basic theories within political science to characterise formal and informal political institutions in Australia
5. The ability to effectively communicate the analysis referred to in first three objectives.
Content1 The Machinery of Government (5 weeks):
eg Parliament and responsible government; the executive and the bureaucracy; federalism and the High Court; the electoral system
2. The Political Parties (2 weeks):
3. Pressure Groups and Political Attitudes (4 weeks):
eg business and unions; social movements; the mass media; voting behaviour.
4. Theories of democracy and power: which best fits the Australian system? (2 weeks).
Replacing Course(s)HUMA3357 Australian Government and Politics, 10 units
HUMA1352 Australian Government and Politics, 10 units
TransitionStudents who have successfully completed HUMA1352 or HUMA3357 should not enrol in HIST1352.

The course would preclude students from enrolling in POLI 1010 Australian Politics and Government.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeNil
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsEmail Discussion Group
Assessment Items
Essays / Written Assignments2000 word essay (due week 11)(40%).
Examination: FormalExam (end of semester)(30%).
Group/tutorial participation and contributionParticipation in weekly tutorials (10%). Students are expected to attend 75% of the weekly tutorials. The reason for this requirement is to ensure students get access to a diverse range of views on the textbook and the issues arising. Criteria for participation will be evidence of familiarity with the textbook chapters and ability to present informed and critical analysis of the textbook and the issues arising from both it and the lectures.
Presentations - TutorialTutorial presentation and paper (20%).
Contact HoursTutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Lecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term