POLS2202 Australian Politics: Institutions, Campaigning and Spin

Credit
6 points
Offering
AvailabilityLocationMode
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
Content
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.
Outcomes
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.
Assessment
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
Prerequisites:
any Level 1 POLS unit
Incompatibility:
POLS2203 Australian Democracy; POLS3303 Australian Democracy
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1_2019 [SEM-1_2019]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • 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 at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.