Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The interplay between politics and economics is central to contemporary policy-making, yet their interactions are often complex and hard to decipher. Four key frameworks are used to enable you to conceptualise, analyse and understand these interactions. The four frameworks are (1) behavioral and microeconomic theory, (2) state/institutionalist political economy, (3) feminist political economy and (4) indigenous politics. Through the critical application of these frameworks you will gain the skills to answer questions in relation to: i) economic behaviour and the allocation of scarce resources; ii) the relative power and role of the state and institutions in relation to the market and economy: iii) and the role of gender and culture in policy-making.

Specific topics will be explored under the core thematic areas of institutions, finance, public goods and the environment. The course will be structured around problem-based learning, which assists you to gain insight, knowledge and skills so that you can apply complex interdisciplinary frameworks to real world problems.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2019.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Evaluate critically the systems of value which underlie economics, politics and policy making;

2. Identify the key elements of each of the four theoretical frameworks used in the course;

3. Analyse critically the actual and ideal relationships between politics (states) and the economy (markets);

4. Analyse policy problems and assess arguments used in policy debates;

5. Formulate and articulate critically informed policy advocacy positions.


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

1.   Institutional Themes and Topics:

      i.  The State and its attendant apparatuses, circuits of state power;

      ii.  The market and market relations;

      iii. Social structures and institutional arrangements such as class, money, property, law and cultural norms;

2.  Finance Themes and Topics:

      i. Debt, equity and credit and their political ramifications;

     ii. Taxation – its rationale, wealth redistribution, public allocation and tax policy;

    iii. Social insurance, welfare and the social safety net;

3.   Public goods:

     i. Education, workforce skills and training, universities and the knowledge economy;

    ii. Health care, population welfare, elder care;

   iii. Housing, homelessness

   iv. Transport and urban planning infrastructure

4.   Environment (externalities):

    i. Pollution – systems of control, appropriate policy instruments,

   ii. Climate change – current debates (political and economic arguments), politicisation of science;

  iii. Water - drought

Assumed knowledge

ECON1001 Microeconomics for Business Decisions or POLI1020 Introduction to Politics

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Policy Critique Assignment

Essay: Mid Semester Essay

Presentation: Advocacy Letter and Poster Presentation

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.