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FOAR7007 – Research Theme 3: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Ben Spies-Butcher
Noah Bassil
Jean-Philippe Deranty
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to BPhil/MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit introduces key themes and theorists in contemporary social and political theory. In particular, it will explore competing diagnoses and responses to the winding back of the post-war compromises between democratic states and corporate capitalism. Rather than taking a serial approach to a study of social and political theories, the unit will focus on their, at times diametrically opposed, configurations of this broad problem complex. In an epoch in which neoliberal agendas have both provoked, and perhaps also been facilitated by, the surge of populist politics across the globe, we look to contemporary social and political theories to help us make sense of new developments, to diagnose their costs and unravel future potentials. Can social democratic reformism survive the era of Trump, Brexit and Hanson? Organised as a workshop series, the unit will draw from leading theorists such as: Agamben, Boltanski, Brown, Chakrabarty, Fraser, Foucault, Habermas, Harvey, Honneth, Peck. Examining a problematic that is of foundational importance in much current social and political research, this unit is relevant to students across the humanities and social sciences.

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

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Articulate a clear and coherent argument in written form to a variety of audiences
  • ULO2: Think critically and make informed judgements of the arguments of others to arrive and reasoned and meaningful arguments and apply new ideas to new contexts
  • ULO3: Demonstrate the ability to apply accumulated knowledge and skills to make decisions in the context of professional practice and scholarship
  • ULO4: Demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct in research activities and relationship

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The unit involves a 3 hour workshop on Wednesdays, 3-6pm, held in room 234, 4 Western Rd. There is an iLearn site with weekly readings, assignments and other details. 

Classes are run similar to a reading group. Most weeks lecturers will open the discussion, providing context to the readings and the themes of the week and then will open up a facilitated discussion. Some weeks there will be guest lecturers. It is expected that everyone will have read and digested the weekly readings. Given active participation in discussion is central to the pedagogy of the uni, students are expected to attend workshops.

The discussions will be interdisciplinary and we welcome students bringing insights from their home disciplines to the material we are discussing. 

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:

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 published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) 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 or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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.

Changes from Previous Offering

Prof Jean-Philippe Deranty re-joins the unit for 2020. 

Changes since First Published

Date Description
18/02/2020 Assessment dates have been added.