POLS2202 Australian Politics: Institutions, Campaigning and Spin

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Political Science and International Relations major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit aims to illuminate the operation of the Australian political system and the institutions operating within it by examining them from relevant theoretical and comparative perspectives. Its aim is to also provide an understanding of the ongoing debate manifested in disagreements about the nature and purpose of constitutional, party and political arrangements over preferred interpretations of the Australian political system and Australian democracy. Topics to be covered include how political parties manage campaigns; the art of political spin; the strengths and weaknesses of parliamentary government; the role of bicameralism; the design of the executive and consequences for the office of Prime Minister/Premier; the problem of government accountability; the evolution of Australian federalism; and approaches to the protection of individual rights. The principal focus is Australia but a number of other advanced democracies are examined to illustrate aspects of political practice.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an appreciation of the ways particular conceptions of liberal democracy have shaped the design of Australian institutions of government and continue to influence efforts to redesign particular institutions; (2) show how comparison can assist understanding of the distinctive features, and strengths and weaknesses, in Australia's political operations; (3) identify and describe the main features of Australia's political campaigning and how parties deliver their messages to the public; (4) demonstrate an informed understanding of contemporary debates about Australian institutions of government (executive, legislature and judiciary) and the facts and values on which these draw; (5) work effectively in a collaborative manner as a member of a tutorial group; (6) demonstrate research skills appropriate for locating and assessing relevant primary and secondary materials; and (7) demonstrate practiced skills of problem analysis and critical reasoning applied to the subject matter.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) written work; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit rules
any Level 1 POLS unit
POLS2203 Australian Democracy; POLS3303 Australian Democracy
Contact hours
3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.