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POL 836 – Accountability

2017 – S2 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Francesco Stolfi
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MPPP or GradDipPP or MPASR or GradDipPASR or MIntLawGovPP or GradCertPP
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Accountability is an essential but highly contested aspect of policy-making in a democratic system. This unit provides a critical examination of the growing array of mechanisms (ministerial responsibility, judicial review, administrative law, ombudsmen, auditors-general, parliamentary committees, anti-corruption and royal commissions, freedom of information, whistleblower protections) designed to hold public policy makers accountable. The unit explores a range of theoretical approaches to accountability and responsibility and applies these to current debates in Australian and international settings. Developments in government service delivery such as privatisation, outsourcing and public private partnerships, are analysed with respect to the reach and effectiveness of accountability mechanisms.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  2. Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  3. Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards
  4. Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)
  5. Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle
  6. Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings
  7. Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

General Assessment Information

Assignment Submission

All written assignments must be submitted using the “Turnitin Assignments” facility on the iLearn

website. This facility includes software which scans the uploaded assignments for plagiarism.

Follow the instructions on the screen carefully. Your assignment should be uploaded before

midnight on the due date.

In all cases, you should ensure that you keep a copy of the assignment.

Return of marked work

Marked assignments will be returned via the same facility on iLearn. When marks are released,

you will need to go back in to the assignment submission box, and open your uploaded

assignment. When you click on the “GradeMark” button, you will be able to see the marker’s

comments on your work. You can save or print the essay with the comments.

Extensions

Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and will require documentary

evidence such as a medical certificate to support the request for an extension. You should

contact the convenor as early as possible if you think you may need an extension. While we do

understand that most students are engaged in paid employment, extensions cannot be granted

on this basis alone.

Penalties for late submission

Assignments which are submitted after the due date, without having an extension granted by the

convenor, will be penalised, at a rate of 3% of the mark for each week day after the due date.

Any paper submitted more than 3 weeks after the due date will not be marked, and the student

will be failed for the assignment.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Quizzes on the readings 30% No Weeks 32, 34, 37, 40, 42, 45
Essay 1 30% No Week 41
Essay 2 30% No Week 47
Attendance and participation 10% No Weekly

Quizzes on the readings

Due: Weeks 32, 34, 37, 40, 42, 45
Weighting: 30%

Six quizzes worth 5% each  will be held on the readings. More information about the quizzes will be provided at the lecture in Week 1.

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcome:

Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings

Essay 1

Due: Week 41
Weighting: 30%

Essay researching the role of the state in a policy area in Australia or in an international setting. The topic must be cleared with the unit convener and must relate to one or more of the issues covered until week 35. The essay must be fully referenced according to professional standards. Length: 2500 words

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:

Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society

Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases

Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards

Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle

Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings

Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  • Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)
  • Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle
  • Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings
  • Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

Essay 2

Due: Week 47
Weighting: 30%

Essay researching the relationship between state and societal actors in a policy area in Australia or in an international setting. The topic must be cleared with the unit convener and must relate to one or more of the issues covered between week 36 and week 45. The essay must be fully referenced according to professional standards. Length: 2500 words

 

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:

Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society

Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases

Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards

Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle

Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings

Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  • Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)
  • Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle
  • Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings
  • Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

Attendance and participation

Due: Weekly
Weighting: 10%

Attendance and participation in weekly seminars will be assessed based on participation in class and small group discussions and activities.

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:

Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases

Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings

Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)
  • Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings
  • Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

Delivery and Resources

 

Delivery:

For lecture times and classrooms please consult the MQ Timetable website:

http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au. This website will display up-to-date information on your

classes and classroom locations.

Internal students are expected to attend the following classes each week:

Lecture: Thursday 6-7pm

Seminar: Thursday 7-9pm

External students: The lecture is digitally recorded and can be downloaded from the ILearn

website shortly after it is delivered. You will also find lecture slides on the website.

External students are also required to attend two compulsory on-campus sessions of four

hours each over the semester. The dates for these sessions are:

Saturday of Week 37: 2pm - 6pm

Saturday of Week 37: 2pm - 6pm

External students are encouraged to attend weekly lectures and seminar classes whenever they

can.

Resources:

This unit has a unit webpage which is accessible only to currently enrolled students. Online units

can be accessed at: http://ilearn.mq.edu.au

There is no text book for this unit. All required readings will be accessible electronically via the

Macquarie University Library iShare system. Links will be posted on the iLearn site.

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

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  • Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards
  • Show competent knowledge of the theoretical literature as well as of the empirical cases covered in the readings
  • Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

Assessment tasks

  • Quizzes on the readings
  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2
  • Attendance and participation

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

Assessment tasks

  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2
  • Attendance and participation

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  • Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle
  • Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

Assessment tasks

  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2
  • Attendance and participation

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  • Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards
  • Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle

Assessment tasks

  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

Assessment task

  • Attendance and participation

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop the ability to identify research problems or gaps in extant knowledge about research on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society
  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches on the role of the state in public policy and on the mutual relationship between the state and society, and apply these to specific real-world cases
  • Synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument to be presented according to professional standards
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)
  • Engage in independent research showing the ability to build on international scholarship and international examples to address a public policy puzzle
  • Evaluate the quality, validity and reliability of research relating to a specific policy problem

Assessment tasks

  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2
  • Attendance and participation