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POL 107 – Thinking Politically

2018 – S2 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Aleksandar Pavkovic
contact by email to set up a consutation
Tutor
Margaret Sampson
contact by email or directly after the tutorial
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
POIR617
Unit description Unit description
We often think politically without being aware of it. When we say that some people in our society have not been treated justly or when we condemn violence and injustice in other societies, we are making political judgments and using political concepts. How does our sense of fairness or our compassion in cases such as these relate to our political judgments? This unit explores key political concepts such as justice, equality, democracy and the rule of the law as well as the role of morality in political judgment. We also consider the concept of ideology and examine particular ideologies including: liberalism, nationalism, conservatism and fundamentalism. Among the selected readings for this unit are the classics of political thought such as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli and Hobbes.

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. The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  2. Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  3. Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  4. Read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts

General Assessment Information

Extensions

The convenor DOES NOT approve or grant extensions. Students need to apply for special consideration through ask.mq.edu.

 

Late Submission Penalty

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Online posts 10% No Continuous
Online Quizz 15% Yes 22 August
Major Essay. 35% No Friday 12 Oct
Final Test 30% No Monday 5 November
Online Participation 10% No ongoing

Online posts

Due: Continuous
Weighting: 10%

External students will have their own External Students Forum. Each week there will be a question posted to which all external students will be required to reply with a post no longer than 200 words.   The question will deal with the issues raised in the lectures and readings only. Your replies should be based on your readings and should not be based on your personal opinions or preferences. You should present a coherent and focused reply to the question based on your readings. It is this quality of your reply that will be assessed.

This purpose of this forum is not  the presentation of your personal opinions but discussion of the topics arising from the lectures and readings. You can comment on other students' posts provided you follow the rules of netiquette and keep your discussion within the bounds of the question raised. This forum should be a substitute for a live tutorial.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory

Online Quizz

Due: 22 August
Weighting: 15%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

This is short online quizz testing the comprehension of the concepts used in the readings and lectures so far. It will be a multiple answer quizz and it will last only half an hour.  You can prepare for the quizz by reviewing the readings and lectures so far. This is a timed assessment.

If you fail the quizz, you may consider disenrolling from this unit before the census date.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory

Major Essay.

Due: Friday 12 Oct
Weighting: 35%

Essay 1500-2000 words on a set question. 

Questions and instructions to be posted in week 5 of unit.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory

Final Test

Due: Monday 5 November
Weighting: 30%

One  hour test based only on the readings and lectures. The aim is to find out how well you understand the concepts and ideologies examined in the unit and how well you can use the terminology and the concepts discussed in the unit. It will not require memorizing dates and names. It will consist of several questions which you choose two to answer in the form of short essays. The test will be administered online on the same day and time as the internal student test. The test will be open until 11 pm of that day but you will have only one hour to complete it, once you open the test. You need to submit your answers online within that hour. This is a close book test and it will be put through the Turnitin to check for plagiarism. 

 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  • Read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts

Online Participation

Due: ongoing
Weighting: 10%

 Online participation for external students: Your reply to the question posted on the External Students Forum should be posted within a week from the date of the posting of the question. In order to gain 10 per cent participation mark, a student needs to post at least 9 coherent and focused replies.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory

Delivery and Resources

Delivery:

Day and External

This unit will use:

ilearn and echo recordings for lectures. You will need access to a computer and internet.

Times and Locations for Lectures and Tutorials: 

consult the MQ timetables website: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au

There are tutorials in week 1.

Required  resources:

The lectures on political ideologies are based on the text Political Ideologies: An Introduction by Andrew Heywood, (Palrgrave,  6th EDITION). This will be available in the Coop and in the Library.  There will be other texts used and those will be available on e-reserve (under unit readings) or on the internet. The specific chapters/readings which are REQUIRED will be found on the unit schedule - the schedule of weekly lectures. This schedule will be posted on the iLearn page.

The above text contains further readings and some of the lectures will also list recommended readings.

 

 

Unit Schedule

This unit deals primarily with contemporary political ideologies: they provide a common  (and sometimes deceptive) framework for thinking politically. In addition, a few texts of modern (post-medieval) European political thought will be explored. These  provide alternative ways of political thinking.

 

Week 1Politics: what is it?  Political thought into political action: political ideologies

Week 2. Nationalism: each nation a state of its own.  Why?

Week 3. Liberalism:  how to ensure that individuals are free (in a state which controls them?)

Week 4. Conservativism: how to live in accordance with one's cherished values

Week 5. Socialism/anarchism:  how to minize political and economic inequalities

Week 6. Ecologism: how to preserve life on earth. Feminism: how to achieve gender equality

Week 7: Populism: how to give voice to the ordinary people in politics dominated by elites

Week 8. Fundamentalism:  fundamental religious truths as the basis for politics and society

Week 9. Reading Week.

Week 10.  A very brief history of European political thought: the main themes

Week 11. More's Utopia :  politics as an art of social engineering (towards social equality)

Week 12.  Machiavelli's Prince: politics as an instrument of gaining and keeping power

Week 13.  Test and summary of the unit topics

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Undergraduate students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/study/getting-started/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

  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  • Read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts

Assessment task

  • Major 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 outcomes

  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  • Read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts

Assessment tasks

  • Online posts
  • Major Essay.
  • Final Test
  • Online 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:

Assessment task

  • Online Quizz

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

  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  • Read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts

Assessment tasks

  • Online posts
  • Online Quizz
  • Major Essay.
  • Final Test
  • Online Participation

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

  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  • Read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts

Assessment tasks

  • Online Quizz
  • Major Essay.
  • Final Test
  • Online Participation

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

  • The ability to analyse and express your judgement about a range of political phenomena in oral and written form
  • Understand and critically assess a variety of contemporary political ideologies
  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory
  • Read and critically interpret some classic and contemporary political texts

Assessment tasks

  • Online posts
  • Major Essay.
  • Final Test
  • Online 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:

Assessment tasks

  • Major Essay.
  • Online Participation

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 outcome

  • Think more critically and systematically about politics, the relationship between political ideas and political action, and differentiate between types of political theory

Assessment task

  • Online Participation