Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Power and the State provides students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the relationship between power, politics and the state. These three terms make up much of what we understand as the substance of contemporary politics and the course seeks to apply each to a wide range of real world contexts. The way in which political power manifests itself in multiple ways, and the way in which the state must deal with multiple challenges to its authority, both at a national and international level, will be discussed in detail. The role of political leadership in directing the state, and enabling it to achieve its political objectives will also be considered. Finally, the question of whether the state still retains a political relevance in an increasingly globalised world will also be discussed.

Availability2022 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Investigate and debate contemporary issues in political science.

2. Recognise and apply the conceptual frameworks and language of political science

3. Define and distinguish between conflict and consensus and discuss the relationship between the state and power as they apply in a wide variety of real world contexts.

4. Demonstrate skills in critical analysis using examples that draw on state institutions and power as they apply in a wide variety of real world contexts.

5. Demonstrate advanced skills in presenting written arguments

6. Demonstrate highly developed research skills in evaluating and synthesizing information from diverse sources.


This course may include but is not limited to the following topics:

  1. the role of state organizations
  2. political leadership in the exercise of political power
  3. the way in which the state is a site of contestation between competing groups in society
  4. the state in an international context
  5. the role of the media and e-democracy both as an instrument of state power and as a means to hold state power politically accountable
  6. the role of wider social movements in relation to the state as well as wider problems of globalisation and governance.
  7. the state’s mobilisation of power
  8. processes of state accountability
  9. the role of class, gender, ethnicity and citizenship in each of these processes of state power and state accountability.


Students must have successfully completed 50 units including POLI1010 OR POLI1020.

Successful completion of 50 units at 1000 level and/or 2000 level.

Assumed knowledge

POLI1010 Australian Politics and Government, POLI1020 Introduction to Politics, POLI2001 Ideas in Political Science

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Weekly Semester Working Group Activities

Written Assignment: Written Assignment 1 Research Skills Assignment

Online Learning Activity: Online Discussion Forum

Written Assignment: Written Assignment 2 Major Essay

Project: Group Research Project

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Integrated Learning Session

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Students are expected to complete 4 hours of guided learning via online preparation, lectures, interactive workshops, tutorials, discussion groups or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.