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SOC 346 – Profit, Protest, Policy: Changes in Market Society

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Ben Spies-Butcher
Contact via ben.spies-butcher@mq.edu.au
Room 840, W6A
Consultation by appointment.
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
39cp at 100 level or above including (ANTH330 or ECON309 or ECON311 or ECON336 or ECON356 or ECON359 or GEOP330 or PHL351 or PHL356 or SOC322 or SOC350 or SOC352 or POL303 or PICT310 or PICT311)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit offers a senior-level overview of some of the main changes in the relationship between economy and society since the 1970s. It has a particular focus on the rise of neoliberalism and the ascendency of the market. It does this from a number of perspectives drawing on both political economy and sociology. The unit will examine changes in the structure of the economy, such as the rise of global corporations and finance, as well as changes to working life and to the systems of social protection provided by the welfare state. Key themes will include the rise of precarious employment, inequality and the increasing importance of risk and uncertainty.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to describe a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economy and the welfare state
  2. Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  3. Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  4. Students will be able to analyse how policy development is influenced by macro economic and political forces
  5. Student will appreciate the ethical dimensions of challenges confronting contemporary societies and be able to reflect strategically on how these can be addressed
  6. Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration
  7. Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Short Exercise 20% Friday 18th August
Group Presentation 15% Weeks 8-12
Individual reflection 15% Two weeks after presentation
Issue or policy analysis 40% Friday 10th November
Seminar participation 10% Ongoing

Short Exercise

Due: Friday 18th August
Weighting: 20%

This exercise is designed be an early opportunity to engage with the course concepts and get some feedback. The first part of the course examines a number of approaches to how the economy influences political developments. Your task is to choose one of three readings and discuss its conception of this relationship, and to provide a critical review of this approach.

This is a short exercise, you are not expected to read widely or do further research. Instead the aim is to engage more deeply with the reading, unpacking its argument. Obviously it is also a relatively short exercise, so you do not need to go into great detail. Instead you should identify the logic of the argument. You should also reflect critical on this logic. That does not mean rejecting it, but rather thinking through potential limitations and strengths. How does the framework you are discussing help us to better understand how politics and policy develop alongside the economy; where does it fall short or even limit our understanding?

Readings:

Double Movement. Polanyi, K. 1944, "The Self-Regulating Market and the Fictitious Commodities: Labor, Land, and Money," The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, Boston: Beacon Press, 68-76.

Elite power. Gilens, M. and Page, B.I., 2014, 'Testing theories of American politics: Elites, interest groups, and average citizens', Perspectives on Politics, 12(03): 564-581.

Class and risk. Baldwin, P. 1990, ‘Introduction (extract)’, The Politics of Social Solidarity: Class bases of the European welfare state 1875-1975, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1-31.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will be able to describe a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economy and the welfare state
  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems

Group Presentation

Due: Weeks 8-12
Weighting: 15%

In the first three weeks of the course we will form into small groups (both in class and on-line for external students). Each group will take a week between weeks 8-12 and be responsible for running the tutorial (or external students this means running the iLearn discussion forum). As this is a senior and smaller unit, the format is negotiable and flexible. You should discuss this in your group and then with the course convener in advance of the presentation.

The aim of the tutorial is to provide an overview of the readings and the key theme for the week, and then to lead the class through a discussion. Your job is both as a presenter and a facilitator. Don't feel like you have to offer all the answers yourselves. Instead, you need to set up the framework for a discussion. Your presentation should make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what aspects of the week's readings and themes you are focusing on.

For those on campus, you might like to consider how you will use the space and time. We have a one hour block, which means we can be quite flexible. You may wish to use some other material (a YouTube clip, newspaper article, photo, etc); you might break the class into smaller groups. Much of this also applies to external students. But externals should also think about how to engage with online discussion for the week.

To help you work all this out we have set up chatrooms in iLearn. The first step is to work out what week you want to present. You then enroll in that week in the link on the unit home page. Once you are enrolled in a group (e.g. Week 9) you can then access a chat room where only the members of your group have access and can discuss what you plan to do for that week.

If you are not sure what to do, just have a chat with the course convener. The object here is to give you scope to take the subject in directions that you find most interesting. You will be assessed based on how clearly your approach links to the course themes, and how you have encouraged discussion. Of course, things don't always go to plan - and we want to encourage you to take some risks. So as long as your approach is clear, if it doesn't quite work, that won't effect your mark.

You will need to submit a one-page summary of your presentation, along with any materials or files you use (such as a powerpoint). This will be a group submission and can either be done by email or through the discussion board (we'll discuss this more in class).

Each of you will then submit a separate reflection on the topic. In the individual reflection you should discuss the key themes from the week and how both your preparation for the class and the in class discussion has informed your approach to the topic. This can include key questions that emerged during discussion, or even your reflection on why your tutorial discussion may not have worked as anticipated, and what this might mean for how we think about the topic. 

Individual submissions are made through this Turnitin assignment in iLearn.

The task is worth a total of 30%. Half of this (15%) will be based on the tutorial session itself. This will be a group mark, and so will be the same for all members of the group. The other half (15%) will be based on your individual reflection.

Group submission

Word limit: 500 words plus attachments

Due: Same day as presentation

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will be able to describe a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economy and the welfare state
  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Student will appreciate the ethical dimensions of challenges confronting contemporary societies and be able to reflect strategically on how these can be addressed
  • Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Individual reflection

Due: Two weeks after presentation
Weighting: 15%

This is the individual component of the group seminar presentation. This is a reflective paper, focused on the theme of the week. Your job here is to identify some of the key questions we might want to think about in considering the issue from the perspective of the course. This should be informed by your preparation and research for the tutorial, and perhaps by the tutorial itself. Many groups break a topic up into parts, with different members of the group focusing on a different element. So you might want to focus on the element you took the lead on - but be careful to put this into the context of the topic as a whole. Because this is a reflective piece we are most interested in how you identify questions, rather than making a traditional argument. This is like a guide of how to think about a problem in social policy. It might identify some key ideas from the readings, key examples of where a policy is working well or where a tension is emerging, and the kinds of issues that we need to consider carefully if we want to understand what is happening. Hopefully developing this paper will also help you think about how to structure the tutorial to stimulate a useful conversation.

Individual submissions are made through this Turnitin assignment in iLearn.

Individual submission

Word limit: 750 words

Due: Two weeks after the presentation


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Issue or policy analysis

Due: Friday 10th November
Weighting: 40%

In this assignment you have a choice of two types of writing. You can either choose a policy analysis or a more traditional essay. The policy analysis will focus on one area of social policy in a particular country. You will need to outline the policy area, major debates and changes in recent years, and provide an analysis in terms of the key themes of the course. For example, you might focus on higher education and changes to the system of student fees in Australia. You might then explore how this has been influence by the fiscal constraints on the state and the dominance of market-orientated economics; or on the role of student social movement activity. This form of assignment is more like a report. You need to provide critical analysis, but you can use sub-headings, dot points, etc for setting out your piece. Some parts of the report might be largely factual, with the analysis confined to a separate section.

Alternatively, you can choose a more traditional essay focused on a theme or area of social life. This could include work life, families, political participation or media and public debate. Here the task is to discuss how this aspect of life has changed over the last 30 years. In particular, how has the rise of neoliberalism and market restructuring, as well as the rise of new social movements, effected how this part of life is organised.

Word limit: 2,500


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will be able to describe a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economy and the welfare state
  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Students will be able to analyse how policy development is influenced by macro economic and political forces
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Seminar participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 10%

As part of your involvement in the course you are expected to actively participate in seminars. This involves reading and thinking about the required readings each week. It also involves making some contribution to discussion. You will be assessed on the basis of your contributions in terms of both your understanding of the issues and your effort to engage with the subject matter. This is not a measure of how much you contribute, but of the quality of your contributions.

It is also important that everyone contributes in a way that promotes reasoned discussion and includes all. If you find it easy to contribute, be careful not to dominate debate. If you find it difficult, make an effort to get involved, or discuss the issue with your tutor so they can help you participate fully. Debating and discussing ideas is an important part of academic life and sociological inquiry.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will be able to describe a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economy and the welfare state
  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Student will appreciate the ethical dimensions of challenges confronting contemporary societies and be able to reflect strategically on how these can be addressed
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Delivery and Resources

Classes

This year the unit has a two hour lecture on Tuesdays and a one hour tutorial. The lectures are recorded and available from echo360, where external students can access them. As classes are generally fairly small, we will try to have interactive classes and some discussion during lecturers, but please keep in mind we need to ensure recordings are audible and usable for our external colleagues.

Tutorials will focus more directly on the set readings and on assignment content. For external students, tutorial content is paralleled by online discussion forums in each week. Contributions to these forums contributes to your grade and is expected every week.

Later in the semester you will run one of the tutorials/forums as part of your group assignment. Again, the format is flexible, so your group can suggest how you think it can work best. You do not need to run the whole class, including introducing the readings and a discussion/exercise around the key themes.

Resources

The readings for this unit are available through a new system called Leganto. We are trialling the new system in this unit, and hope it will prove a more user friendly and flexible system for accessing resources. 

Other resources are also available through iLearn. This includes cover sheets, university policies and access to study skills support.

Technology used and required

The course requires you to work with iLearn to submit some assignments and contribute to discussion forums. You may also wish to use other technologies for your group presentation.

Unit Schedule

 

Week 1. Overview

This week is an opportunity to meet each other and get a sense of the course. We will go through the structure of the course and the assessment, and discuss how the sessions will run. There is a group work assignment in the unit, so this is also an opportunity for an initial discussion about potential groups and topics.

Week 2. Class conflict and class compromise

The next two weeks of the course focus on some of the most influential theoretical frameworks in political sociology for understanding the development of market society. This week we explore a set of theories that have traditionally constitued the most dominant approach - those that focus on class. To many theorists the central political developments in market societies can be understood as the outcomes of conflicts and compromises between different social classes. Sometimes this is explicitly Marxist and at other times it incorporates aspects of different parts of sociology, including Weber, which emphasise compromise between many different social classes. For much of the twentieth century class seemed to be the dominant category - and both radical and mainstream theorists tended to explain developments in terms of class. While this has now partly changed, its an important place to begin our discussion.

Week 3. The rise of the market and social resistance

Last week we focused on class theories of social and economic development. This week we turn to the work of Karl Polanyi, which has become more popular in recent years. Polanyi was an Austrian economic historian and political economist who sought to explain the beginnings of the welfare state, as well as the rise of facism, as responses to the pressures coming from markets. But unlike class theories, Polanyi's emphasis is on how society as a whole responds to market pressures, rather than how particular class groups act. Polanyi's concept of the 'double movement' has since become an important part of current debates about globalisation and the global financial system. We will return to these broader implications towards the end of the course. But here we are interested in the idea that as the market economy develops and takes shape it generates social resistance, which in turn places limits on the operation of the market. And we ask - is this a useful way to understand the development of market societies?

Week 4. Full employment and the Keynesian compromise

This lecture sets the scene for our discussion of how capitalism has been changing in recent decades. Most theorists see a distinction between the post-War period (1945-1975) and the period of economic restructuring and globalisation that followed. These post-War policy settings are often termed the 'Keynesian compromise'; reflecting the importance of policies to support full employment. Full employment was supported by global financial institutions, developed at the end of the War, to facilitate national level macro economic policies. Alongside these macro economic policies most rich democracies developed sizeable welfare states providing social protection to citizens. Here we explore the politics of full employment and the welfare state. The links between social policy, employment and macro economic policy will be a theme of the course.

Week 5. Neoliberalism, globalisation and economic restructuring

The fiscal pressures on the state saw a backlash against the established post-War welfare state compromise. The election of Ronald Reagan as President in the United States and Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in the United Kingdom marked the beginning of the ascendency of free market economic policies. Across the developed world policies of deregulation, privatisation and free trade were implemented. In the Global South, the policies were often more brutal, and associated with despotic governments. As these policies were implemented during the 1980s other reforms were taking place within the Soviet Union. There too, new social movements had been demanding greater democracy and freedom. With a faultering economy, and with movements growing stronger, the communist governments began to collapse, signalling the end of the Cold War, and the triumph of capitalist liberal democracy. The economic restructuring which followed saw inequality in Russia increase more rapidly then virtually anywhere in history. It also saw a growing integration of global trade and investment - dubbed globalisation - and claims that the state itself would soon be an artefact of history. Here we look at the process of economic restructuring and how it can be understood - as a process of 'reregulation' in favour of powerful interests; or as a 'golden straightjacket' imposed on increasingly redudant states to promote prosperity. It is this process that dominated political debate and policy making up until the GFC.

Week 6. Making markets in the state (Guest lecturer: Gabrielle Meagher)

Despite more than a decade of concerted attempts to reduce the size of the state, the size of social spending by the state didn't fall. Indeed, as we have seen, whole new areas of provision emerged, such as child care. And other areas - like health - continued to grow. But the nature of these services has changed. Increasingly governments have restructured public spending so that it mimics some of the features of markets. Funding for services is based on competitive tendering. In many instances governments now fund consumers of services, and allow them to spend their money on private services, like in child care. This potentially changes the nature of the public sector and social policy. This process is often called 'marketisation' because it changes the way public money is spent so that both producers and consumers behave as if they were in a private market. But its not quite a private market either - because the state sets the rules. What is more, the type of markets created vary - across countries and between types of services. Here we look at the trend towards marketisation - what is driving it, and what are the consequences?

Week 7. New risks, new welfare (Guest lecturer: Adam Stebbing)

This week be switch track, from our overview of the development of market economies since the 1970s to a more detailed look at the implications for the welfare state. We begin with a question that has gained rapidly growing attention - the role of risk and how this has changed. We saw earlier how many see the rise of the welfare state as a response to the demands by the labour movement to protect workers from the risks of a market economy. But the nature of that compact was based on a very specific set of social norms, which saw a gender and racial segregation of work. New social movements began to challenge these norms, transforming society, work and the economy. In turn, this has transformed the nature of market risk. Social policy theorists have argued that these new risks demand new forms of social protection. This week we examine those claims.

 Week 8. The end of 'old politics'?

Much of the post-War world was built on the politics of class and the political compromise of the welfare state. The major political parties in each country were defined to a large extent by class. The global order was organised around a capitalist west and communist east. The welfare state was framed around the risks faced by labour. From the 1960s this began to change. A series of new social movements emerged, based on social categories separate from class. Women, Aboriginies, colonised countries, homosexuals - all made claims for justice that were separate from class. And as protest increased and people took to the streets, new groups were mobilised, particularly students. This in turn reflected a new political and economic order. These movements were questioning not only the distribution of material resources, but the meanings attached to the economy. They also reflected a new social base - educated white collar service workers, who have been growing in numbers ever since. At the same time, the post-War economic model was feeling the strain. Welfare states had expanded, but in the 1970s growth began to stall. Oil shocks triggered economic crisis, with unemployment and prices rising rapidly. The old economic tools no longer seemed to work. With low growth, higher social payments and lower taxes, governments faced a fiscal crisis - not unlike what many are experiencing today after the Global Financial Crisis. In many ways the key themes of politics in the 1970s and 1980s - post-materialism and fiscal crisis - remain pressing concerns today, so this week we explore how they developed and what they might still mean.

Week 9. The political economy of a service economy

Many of the concepts we have developed in the course appear to be most relevant to industrial societies, with large blue collar workforces. The reality of 21st century economies is very different. Service industries have grown rapidly. But often these industries have much lower productivity growth because they involve people working directly with other people, leaving less room for big machines and new technology. Many see this as an underlying cause of the fiscal crisis of the state. But some industries do have rapid productivity growth, especially through information and communications technologies. This generates new dynamics, and new political conflicts. This week we start to develop a political economy of the kind of societies we live in now, and think about the implications of an economy based on educated workers and advanced computing and communications technologies.

Week 10. Work and insecurity

One of the most fundamental changes brought by neoliberalism in the rich countries of the world has been the end of full employment. Deregulation and rising unemployment have created a new kind of labour market. Fewer workers now have the same job throughout their working lives; and fewer have any form of permanent work. Casual and contract work are on the rise. This brings with it opportunties for flexibility, but also much greater uncertainty, and potentially much greater inequality. It potentially sees the rise of a new class division - the precariate - those who are in precarious forms of employment. This week we look to the labour market and how changes here have meant profound changes for the way we live our lives.

Week 11. Inequality in the new economy

One of the biggest shifts in economics over the past decade has been the reemergence of inequality as a central topic of debate. Its not only academic economists talking inequality - even the big international institutions associated with market reform, like the IMF and World Bank, have been saying inequality is a growing problem. One of the most significant contributions to this debate comes from French economist Thomas Piketty. His Capitalism in the Twenty First Century was written as an academic book, but quickly became a best seller. He sold out theaters and had queues of people waiting to see him speak across Europe and the US. His theory - that as growth slows, so inequality increases, especially based on the ownership of land and resources - hit a chord. Its an important idea, and one we discuss this week.

Week 12. Financialisation and housing

One of the striking features of the period of economic restructuring was the substantial growth of the finance sector. International finance was increasingly deregulated, contained a growing proportion of global income and was increasingly powerful in shaping the policies and choices of nation states. Individuals were increasingly required and encouraged to engage more directly with financial markets, through pension funds, credit cards and other products. Some theorists argued this constituted a process of 'financialisation', where capitalism shifted from a focus on producing physical commodities, to investing in financial products. The period was also associated with a number of financial crises, starting with the debt crisis in Latin America and Africa in the 1980s, the 1987 Wall St Crash, the 1990s East Asian financial crisis and the dot com bubble in the early 2000s. Many of these were devastating, particularly for those in the Global South. But it was not until the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 that such crises appeared to challenge the economies of the rich world. The GFC transformed politics and economics. Millions of people were losing homes and jobs. Whole national economies seemed on the brink of collapse. Central to this economic collapse has been housing (the underlying asset behind 'sub-prime' mortgages). House prices and housing insecurity have been on the rise in many countries, including Australia. For many researchers, real estate should be placed alongside finance and insurance in a group of industries that are driving instability, inequality and crisis. But why is that the case? Here we end the course by talking about the thing all Sydney dinner parties end with - housing, but with a political economy twist.

Week 13. Conclusion and wrap up.

This week we take stock of the course and spend some time discussing how to apply any insights we have gained to the final assignment.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Referencing Policy

This unit follows the Sociology Department's referencing guide, which is available here:

http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/faculties_and_departments/faculty_of_arts/department_of_sociology/current_students/undergraduate/useful_links/sociology_reference_guide/

Late Penalties and Grade Appeals

This unit follows the Sociology Department Learning and Teaching Code of Practice, which can be found here:

http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/faculties_and_departments/faculty_of_arts/department_of_sociology/current_students/undergraduate/learning_teaching_code_of_practice/

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to describe a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economy and the welfare state
  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Students will be able to analyse how policy development is influenced by macro economic and political forces
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Assessment tasks

  • Short Exercise
  • Group Presentation
  • Individual reflection
  • Issue or policy analysis

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Assessment tasks

  • Group Presentation
  • Individual reflection
  • Issue or policy analysis

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Student will appreciate the ethical dimensions of challenges confronting contemporary societies and be able to reflect strategically on how these can be addressed
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Assessment tasks

  • Group Presentation
  • Issue or policy analysis
  • Seminar participation

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to describe a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the economy and the welfare state
  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Students will be able to analyse how policy development is influenced by macro economic and political forces

Assessment tasks

  • Short Exercise
  • Issue or policy analysis
  • Seminar participation

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Students will be able to analyse how policy development is influenced by macro economic and political forces
  • Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration

Assessment tasks

  • Group Presentation
  • Issue or policy analysis

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to analyse how policy development is influenced by macro economic and political forces
  • Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration

Assessment tasks

  • Short Exercise
  • Group Presentation
  • Individual reflection
  • Issue or policy analysis
  • Seminar participation

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Student will appreciate the ethical dimensions of challenges confronting contemporary societies and be able to reflect strategically on how these can be addressed
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Assessment tasks

  • Group Presentation
  • Individual reflection
  • Issue or policy analysis
  • Seminar participation

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to assess the suitability of different theoretical approaches to different kinds of social and policy problems
  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Student will appreciate the ethical dimensions of challenges confronting contemporary societies and be able to reflect strategically on how these can be addressed
  • Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Assessment tasks

  • Individual reflection
  • Issue or policy analysis

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to apply ideas from political economy and political sociology to recent developments in the global economy and in the development of social policy
  • Students will be able to analyse how policy development is influenced by macro economic and political forces
  • Students will be able to work in teams to construct a collective understanding of social issues and promote collaboration
  • Students will understand how the structure of the economy is shaped by civil society and collective social action

Assessment tasks

  • Individual reflection
  • Seminar participation

Changes from Previous Offering

Based on feedback from 2016, the content in week 4 replaces content from the week 2 2016 version. This allows the initial assignment to be brought forward, and allows a more specific focus on macroeconomic questions.