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POL 820 – Politics and Policy: Theory and Applications

2017 – S1 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Lecturer
Glenn Kefford
Contact via (02) 9850 8805
W6A428
5-6pm Tuesday and by Appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MPPP or MPASR or MIntRel or MIntPubDip or MIntLawGovPP or GradDipPP or GradDipPASR or GradDipIntRel or GradDipSIA or GradCertPP or MSc in Environmental Health or MTransInterMIntRel or MIntBusMIntRel
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit provides an introduction to the study of politics and public policy. It considers current debates around power, participation and democracy in policy making and critically analyses the role and influence of key institutions and actors. The unit evaluates current debates and controversies in policy studies, including issues around reform, governance, globalisation and changes to the policy environment. The unit explores recent theoretical developments in the literature, in Australia and internationally and examines a range of theories of the policy process, including the 'policy cycle' of formulation, implementation and evaluation.

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. Explain and critically analyse the way in which power and politics impact on public policy and the policy process
  2. Identify the range of actors and institutions involved in the policy process, using the Australian example as the basis for comparison with other policy environments
  3. Analyse the role of different actors and institutions in influencing policy in networks, subsystems or communities
  4. Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process
  5. Recognise, understand and apply the most common theoretical approaches used in studying politics and policy, and identify differences and similarities between them
  6. Analyse the policy-making process using several different models, or theories, and critically evaluate these by applying them to real-world case studies, and demonstrating their strengths and weaknesses
  7. Locate, assess, and analyse different kinds of evidence about the policy process, from a range of sources, and synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument
  8. Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

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
Assessment 1 20% No 7 April
Assessment 2 30% No 5 May
Assessment 3 50% No 9 June

Assessment 1

Due: 7 April
Weighting: 20%

Questions based on the material covered in weeks 1-5 of semester will be posted on the website at the end of week 5.

Word limit: 1500 words


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify the range of actors and institutions involved in the policy process, using the Australian example as the basis for comparison with other policy environments
  • Analyse the role of different actors and institutions in influencing policy in networks, subsystems or communities
  • Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process

Assessment 2

Due: 5 May
Weighting: 30%

For this assessment task you are expected to reflect on the material covered in the lectures and course readings, and use these to develop a critical analysis of the prescribed texts. Your essay should be presented in essay form and answer the question which is posted on iLearn.

Word limit: 1500 words


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain and critically analyse the way in which power and politics impact on public policy and the policy process
  • Identify the range of actors and institutions involved in the policy process, using the Australian example as the basis for comparison with other policy environments
  • Analyse the role of different actors and institutions in influencing policy in networks, subsystems or communities
  • Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process
  • Locate, assess, and analyse different kinds of evidence about the policy process, from a range of sources, and synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

Assessment 3

Due: 9 June
Weighting: 50%

This assessment task requires you to select a case study and use it to evaluate the theories of the policy process which are covered in this unit. You will be given opportunities to discuss your choice of case study with the lecturer and the class while working on the essay. You are expected to undertake considerable independent research into your case study area. Further details about the essay question, marking criteria and selection of the case study are provided on iLearn. 

Word limit: 3500-4000 words


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain and critically analyse the way in which power and politics impact on public policy and the policy process
  • Identify the range of actors and institutions involved in the policy process, using the Australian example as the basis for comparison with other policy environments
  • Analyse the role of different actors and institutions in influencing policy in networks, subsystems or communities
  • Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process
  • Recognise, understand and apply the most common theoretical approaches used in studying politics and policy, and identify differences and similarities between them
  • Analyse the policy-making process using several different models, or theories, and critically evaluate these by applying them to real-world case studies, and demonstrating their strengths and weaknesses
  • Locate, assess, and analyse different kinds of evidence about the policy process, from a range of sources, and synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

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: Tuesday 6-7pm

Seminar: Tuesday 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:

Sunday 29 April:  2pm - 6pm

Saturday 3 June: 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.

Unit Schedule

Week 1

 

Introduction:  Policy and politics

 

Week 2

 

The proper role of government

 

Week 3

 

Fundamentals of the Australian political system

 

Week 4

 

Actors in public policy – state actors

 

Week 5

 

Actors in public policy – non-state actors

 

Week 6

No Classes - Reading Week and Assessment 1 Due

Week 7

 

Challenges: governance and globalisation

 

Week 8

 

Approaches to policy analysis

 

Week 9

 

The policy cycle and its critics

 

Week 10

 

Theories of policy change

 

Week 11

 

Problem definition and agenda setting

 

Week 12

 

Decision-making and policy instruments

 

Week 13

 

Implementation and evaluation

 

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

  • Explain and critically analyse the way in which power and politics impact on public policy and the policy process
  • Identify the range of actors and institutions involved in the policy process, using the Australian example as the basis for comparison with other policy environments
  • Analyse the role of different actors and institutions in influencing policy in networks, subsystems or communities
  • Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process
  • Recognise, understand and apply the most common theoretical approaches used in studying politics and policy, and identify differences and similarities between them

Assessment tasks

  • Assessment 1
  • Assessment 2
  • Assessment 3

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

  • Explain and critically analyse the way in which power and politics impact on public policy and the policy process
  • Locate, assess, and analyse different kinds of evidence about the policy process, from a range of sources, and synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument
  • Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of techniques (written, spoken, visual)

Assessment tasks

  • Assessment 2
  • Assessment 3

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

  • Explain and critically analyse the way in which power and politics impact on public policy and the policy process
  • Identify the range of actors and institutions involved in the policy process, using the Australian example as the basis for comparison with other policy environments
  • Analyse the role of different actors and institutions in influencing policy in networks, subsystems or communities
  • Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process
  • Recognise, understand and apply the most common theoretical approaches used in studying politics and policy, and identify differences and similarities between them
  • Analyse the policy-making process using several different models, or theories, and critically evaluate these by applying them to real-world case studies, and demonstrating their strengths and weaknesses

Assessment tasks

  • Assessment 1
  • Assessment 2
  • Assessment 3

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

  • Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process
  • Recognise, understand and apply the most common theoretical approaches used in studying politics and policy, and identify differences and similarities between them
  • Analyse the policy-making process using several different models, or theories, and critically evaluate these by applying them to real-world case studies, and demonstrating their strengths and weaknesses
  • Locate, assess, and analyse different kinds of evidence about the policy process, from a range of sources, and synthesise research findings into a simple, logical and coherent argument

Assessment tasks

  • Assessment 1
  • Assessment 2
  • Assessment 3

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

  • Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in this subject, including debates around the proper role of government, the shift from government to governance, the impact of globalisation, and the role of public and interest group participation in the policy process

Assessment tasks

  • Assessment 1
  • Assessment 2
  • Assessment 3

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 outcome

  • Recognise, understand and apply the most common theoretical approaches used in studying politics and policy, and identify differences and similarities between them

Assessment task

  • Assessment 3

Changes since First Published

Date Description
10/02/2017 Weekly content contained a small error so I amended