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POL 304 – Creating New States

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Aleksandar Pavkovic
Contact via aleksandar.pavkovic@mq.edu.au
W6A 433
Tuesdays 1-2 pm or by appointment
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
39cp at 100 level or above or (6cp in HIST or MHIS or POL units at 200 level including 3cp in POL)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Since 1914 new states have been continuously created and their existence justified on the basis of the principle of national self-determination: in the last hundred years, the number of independent states has grown from around 52 to more than 195. In most cases, the new states were allegedly ‘created by’ or ‘assigned to’ individual nations. What are those powerful agents, ‘nations,’ that need and create states of their own? How are new states created today? How can we justify the creation of new independent states today, when there are so few if any dependent states - colonies - left? The unit aims to answer these questions by examining both the processes through which territories and populations withdraw - secede – from existing states and the legal and normative framework within which these processes currently take place. In addition, recent attempts at state integration or unification, such as the European Union, and a few plans for a single world state will be briefly discussed.

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. How to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  2. How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  3. How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  4. How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  5. How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Presentation - Internal 10% No set in class
Review paper 15% Yes 23 March, 5 pm
Research essay 40% No 19 June 10 pm
Class test 35% No 6 June (week 13) lecture

Presentation - Internal

Due: set in class
Weighting: 10%

Every internal student should make a brief talk  - tutorial presentation - on one topic that is set for a particular week (see lecture topics in the weekly schedule). The students select which topic they want to talk about. The talk, not exceeding 10 minutes, should introduce the topic to the other students in a coherent and informative manner. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • How to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Review paper

Due: 23 March, 5 pm
Weighting: 15%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

Each student should write a paper of maximum 900 words (3 typed pages) reviewing two items (chapters or excerpts) on the required/recommended reading list.  The list of the topics (that is, items to be reviewed) which students could choose from will be posted on the iLearn page. Students will chose one topic and write a short paper on this topic.

The essay writing guide posted on the iLearn page should be followed in writing this paper.

This assessment tests your basic skills in  (a) research  (b) scholarly text comprehension and (c)  writing essays on a chosen topic. At level 300 you are supposed to have more than basic skills of these three kinds; therefore, you cannot continue in this unit without these basic skills.

This is an early assessment of the student's progress in the unit. If you do not pass, you would be recommended to withdraw from the unit - you would be notified of  your failure before the Census date. 

The paper should be uploaded using the Turntin upload which will be posted on the iLearn page.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • How to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations

Research essay

Due: 19 June 10 pm
Weighting: 40%

Students will be given a choice of questions in the area of secession, decolonization and unification. They will choose one question from one area and write an essay in response using secondary scholarly source and/or primary sources not listed in the required/recommended readings. Sources which are exclusively internet based - that is, which are created only for the internet dissemination   - should not be used.

Not to exceed 2000 words, excluding the bibliography, but including footnotes or endnotes. Harvard (in text) referencing system.

An essay writing guide is posted on iLearn page and it should be followed strictly (note: You need to back your statements by reference to scholarly sources and not propaganda whether posted on the web or printed.) The Criteria for Marking are posted there as well.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  • How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Class test

Due: 6 June (week 13) lecture
Weighting: 35%

The test aims to assess the comprehension of basic concepts, theories and case studies discussed in the course.   It is based entirely on the required readings and lectures.

During one hour students will choose two out of four questions and in response write short essays. Since the test is based on lectures and readings, a simple revision of the student’s notes made during the course will be a sufficient preparation for it. The preceding reading week (Week 12) can be used for that purpose. The amount of information that can be conveyed in one hour is naturally limited and so students do not need to memorize historical narratives or dates.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • How to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  • How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  • How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes

Delivery and Resources

There will be one two-hour lecture and one one-hour tutorial each week. A few lectures may be "flipped": lectures will be available in a video format online but the lecture session will be held . In such a case, during the lecture session, the main topics of the video lecture will be discussed: the video lecture does NOT replace the lecture session.

The attendance to both lectures and tutorials is compulsory for internal students. More than 3 unexplained absences may lead to the exclusion from or a fail grade in the unit.

If one cannot attend lectures and tutorials, one should switch, in time, to the external mode of delivery which does not require attendance.

There is a reading set for each week. The list of readings will be posted on the iLearn page of the unit. The readings should be available in the library on e-reserve or online. 

 

 

Unit Schedule

This unit explores the following three ways of creating new states: decolonization, secession and unification. Of all three, secession is currently the most frequent or  perhaps the most effective way of creating a new state. The unit thus explores the normative (ethical) and legal grounds for secession – including the principle of national self-determination – as well as various theories attempting to explain why and how secessions unfold.

Lecture topics by week:

1.  Creating new states: at this very moment and in the past.

2. The state: how to centralize political power on a bounded territory

3. The nation: how to mobilize people to demand – and obey – a state of their own

4. A modern way of state creation I : the principle of self-determination and decolonization

5. Decolonisation, secession and unification: three ways of creating new states out of old

6.  A modern way of state-creation II : Dissolution of states by sequential secessions ( the USSR, Yugoslavia)

7. A modern way of state-creation III:  Secessions from states, peaceful (Montenegro 2006)  and violent (Chechnya 1994)

8. How to explain secessions: a general framework

 9. Justifying secessions and recognizing new states: normative theories  and international law

10. Unification: rare but unproblematic?   Germany (1871, 1990),  Yugoslavia (1918, 1992)

11.  Towards the unification of the world: the European Union and (perhaps?) the World State.

12. Reading week: no classes (consultation instead)

13. Class test

 

 

Learning and Teaching Activities

Assessments tasks: how difficult and what to do about them

In order to pass the unit, students have to pass all four assessment tasks. In particular, students should read carefully and follow strictly the essay writing guide. Any further reading or training in essay writing is highly recommended (see under Student Support below) Research essay is the most challenging assessment task in this unit for all students. This is obviously more challenging to non-native speakers and those who did not write research essays in social science subjects before; these students should certainly seek training and assistance in essay writing provided by the University (see Student Support, Learning Skills under Policies and Procedures).

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 (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

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.

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

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

  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  • How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  • How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment tasks

  • Presentation - Internal
  • Review paper
  • Research essay

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 outcome

  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment tasks

  • Presentation - Internal
  • Review paper
  • Research essay
  • Class test

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

  • How to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  • How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  • How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment tasks

  • Review paper
  • Class test

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

  • How to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  • How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  • How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment tasks

  • Presentation - Internal
  • Review paper
  • Research essay
  • Class test

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

  • How to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  • How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  • How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment tasks

  • Review paper
  • Research essay
  • Class test

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

  • How to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment task

  • Research essay

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 outcome

  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Assessment task

  • Presentation - Internal

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

  • How to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  • How to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  • How to use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes

Changes from Previous Offering

The focus of the unit has changed. More space is offered to unification and decolonization - and this is reflected both in readings and in the essay questions.