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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Paul Muldoon


Previously coded PLT3120


There is a growing imperative for societies, particularly democratic societies, to deal with the violence of the past so that discordant groups can be reconciled and historical injustices repaired. This unit looks at the role of memory in politics and asks whether current attempts to 'deal with the past' are creating more compassionate democracies (i.e. democracies more attuned to the suffering of others) or making impossible demands upon the activity of politics itself.


On successful completion of this unit students at levels 2 and 3 are expected to be able to:

  1. Give a clear account of what is entailed in 'coming to terms with the past';
  2. Make precise theoretical distinctions between politics and violence;
  3. Understand the difference between retributive and restorative forms of justice;
  4. Think critically about the intrusion of religious and therapeutic themes into politics;
  5. Undertake structured research tasks and demonstrate high level written communication skills;

In addition, students undertaking this unit at level three are expected to be able to:
  1. Clearly differentiate between moral and political issues and forms of inquiry;
  2. Think critically about the limits of politics (i.e. what we can expect to achieve from political activity)


Oral Presentation: 10%
Written Work: 60%
Exam: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Paul Muldoon

Contact hours

2 hours/week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



First year politics sequence