Studying online

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PPHE3327 Contemporary Political Theory

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics major sequence
  • Level 3 option in the Philosophy; Political Science and International Relations major sequences
  • Level 3 elective
Much work in contemporary political theory, together with much real-world political contestation, has to do with questions of social justice. This course surveys the most influential accounts of the nature of social justice developed over the past half-century. It also considers their application to a series of real-world controversies, including the rights of the disabled, private education, redistributive taxation, global poverty, immigration, freedom of speech, gender equality, pornography, civil disobedience, and democracy.
Students are able to (1) independently interpret complex philosophical texts
; (2) demonstrate an understanding of complex philosophical arguments and positions concerning social justice; (3) evaluate complex philosophical positions and argument concerning social justice; (4) weigh the virtues and vices of competing philosophical doctrines concerning social justice; (5) construct persuasive arguments concerning difficult philosophical issues concerning social justice; (6) demonstrate advanced written communication and research skills; (7) reflect on the nature and purpose of philosophy and philosophical argumentation; (8) communicate an understanding of the subfield of contemporary normative political theory, through familiarity with contemporary approaches to social justice; (9) identify and describe the foundational values from which the various approaches to social justice proceed, together with the tensions among and controversies concerning these values; and (10) demonstrate the importance of normative ideas in public policy, and analyse the influence of normative ideas in debates about public policy.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written work; (2) tutorial presentation and participation; and (3) 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 Coordinator(s)
Dr Lachlan Umbers
Unit rules
any Level 2 POLS or PHIL unit or PPHE2211 History of Political Ideas
POLS2227 Contemporary Political Theory; POLS3327 Contemporary Political Theory
Contact hours
lectures: 20 hours; tutorials: 9 hours
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.