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PLM4210 - Leaders, Politics and Publics

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Professor James Walter


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


What is the relationship between leaders and their followers? Who become leaders, and why? What is their role in policy determination (and what should be its limits)? How do individuals persuade a public that they 'speak for' their interests? This unit engages with political psychology, introducing some applications of theory in relation to cultural, social and political interaction. No prior knowledge of psychology is required: students will be introduced to varieties of psychological theory that have been applied to political behaviour. Students will focus on case studies of leaders in action, or of policy determination.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to: 1 Understand the theoretical debates about leadership and political psychology in political institutions. 2 Analyse the hierarchy of inputs into policy determination. 3 Distinguish between theoretical interpretation, secondary source review and primary source analysis. 4 Understand the techniques of case study approaches to political analysis, and demonstrate practical research and project management skills. 5 Develop advanced skills in oral and written communication. 6 Relate both knowledge and practical skills to potential careers in the public service, policy determination and private enterprise management.


Research proposal (1000 words) : 10%
Written exercise (theory) (1000 words) : 10%
Case Study (5000 words) : 50%
Exam (2000 words) : 30%

Contact hours

1 x 2 hour seminar