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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Australian Democracy in Doubt (POL331)

Organisational Unit Global Studies
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description As others fight for democracy, many Australians doubt that their political institutions produce policies that reflect the will of the people. Sadly, Australians are right to doubt whether we live in a true democracy. Three crucial questions arise: Why do Australians doubt that their political system is democratic? Did Australians get democracy wrong in theory or do the problems result from the ways that Australian political institutions function? Do Australians need new ways of thinking about and doing democracy?
Unit Learning Outcomes ULO 01 - Demonstrate substantive knowledge as to why Australians political institutions do not produce policies that reflect the will of the people.
ULO 02 - Examine theories of democracy and apply these theories to the character and function of Australian political institutions.
ULO 03 - Construct evidence-based arguments with respect to the factors that prevent Australian political institutions from producing policies that reflect the will of the people.
ULO 04 - Clearly and persuasively communicate concepts, problems and arguments concerning ways that Australia's political institutions could produce policies that reflect the will of the people.
Timetabled Learning Activities Weekly 2.5 hour workshop
Unit Learning Experiences Instruction in the unit will be through 12 weekly two and a half hour workshop.

1. 9 of the 12 workshops will be comprised of a one and a half hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial with whole-group and small group discussion.

The lectures will address specific questions (in order to demonstrate the approach to answering questions that I want them to adopt for assessment in this unit):

Part 1. Democratic Failure in the Australian Political System
Question 1 (Week 3): Does the Australian Parliament play a meaningful role in Australian democracy?
Question 2 (Week 4): Do Australia's electoral systems undermine Australian democracy?
Question 3 (Week 5): Does it matter that justices of the High Court are not elected?
Question 4 (Week 6): Are bureaucracies undermining democracy in Australia?
Question 5 (Week 7): Does our Federal System make Australia a more democratic country?

Part 2. Addressing the Deficiencies
Question 6 (Week 8): Would enhancing the role of Local Government address deficiencies in Australian democracy?
Question 7 (Week 9): Would deliberative democracy address deficiencies in Australian democracy?
Question 8 (Week 10): Can Social Media play a role in addressing deficiencies in Australian democracy?
Question 9 (Week 11): Can 'Citizen Journalism' play a role in addressing deficiencies in Australian democracy?

2. Three of the 12 workshops will be two and a half hour skills workshops.
Workshop 1 (Week 1): Doing a ('To Camera') Video Presentation
Workshop 2 (Week 2): Planning an Answer
Workshop 3 (Week 12): Preparing for a Seen (Modified Closed Book) Examination
Assessment Video Presentation and Plan 1
Students will submit a 5-minute video presentation on a topic from Part 1 of the unit.
Part 1 addresses

Video Presentation and Plan 2
Students will submit a 5-minute video presentation on a topic from Part 2 of the unit

Examination
Students will answer two questions (one from Part 1 and one from Part 2 of the unit).
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed POL331 Democracy in Doubt may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Criminology + Global Security [Combined] (BCrim)+(BGS) [New in 2019]
Global Politics and Policy (BA) [New in 2019]
Appears in these Co-Majors Global Politics and Policy
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.

Contacts

Unit Coordinator
POL331
Dr Ian Cook
Head of Discipline Global Studies

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6117
e: I.Cook@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.3.053 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts
POL331

MURDOCH: S1-External
MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Dr Ian Cook
Head of Discipline Global Studies

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6117
e: I.Cook@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.3.053 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
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