Politics, Policy and Government

Course code POLI3180Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Business School

Looks at the Australian state in a wider political context by examining the major changes it has undergone in the last twenty years. The course explores the major reforms to the public service and other government agencies by examining their changing relationship to government. A central question will be whether the public service has become overly politicised such that it is unable to offer the government independent advice. Case studies of specific policy issues in areas such as immigration, education, and defence (or any other topical policy area) will be used to trace the development of major government policy decisions and to explore problems of politicisation and accountability. Attention is also given to the emergence of new policy frameworks, especially economic rationalism, and their impact on these processes.

Not available to students who have already passed or are currently enrolled in POLI2180.

Not available in 2014

Previously offered in 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005
Objectives1. To familiarize students with key concepts of Australian public policy and public administration.
2. To enable students to gain a clear understanding of salient forces and principles of shaping policy advice.
3. To develop an enhanced understanding of the relations between policy advisors (private and public) and various spheres of government decision-making.
4. To develop an awareness of and ability to assess critically the theoretical and methodological debates in the field of public policy, public administration, and political science generally.
5. To develop an understanding of key Social Science concepts and theories and acquire research skills to enable critical evaluation of the reliability, validity and efficacy of information, opinions and arguments.
6. To provide an understanding of and practice in oral and written communication skills.
ContentThe course content will be drawn from but not restricted to
1. Analysis of Australian political and policy-making structures.
2. Theories of the state.
3. Detailed analysis of lines of political accountability.
4. Discussion of the role of public sector senior bureaucrats, and their politicisation.
5. Role of ethics within public sector and policy discourse.
6. Changing public administration paradigms (eg. "new public sector management", "governance", "hollow state" etc).
7. Role of consultants within the policy process.
8. Case studies of government enquiries and problems of accountability.
Replacing Course(s)Not applicable.
TransitionNot applicable.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge10 units in Politics at 1000 level or equivalent
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Tutorial
Assessment Items
Essays / Written Assignmentsmajor essay and tutorial paper
Examination: Formal
Group/tutorial participation and contribution
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term