Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Professor James Walter


Previously coded PLT3070


Why do ideas matter? Because they give us the tools with which we make sense of the world. The way we think determines how we act. Politics is about persuading us to act in some ways rather than others, so how ideas are deployed is fundamental to politics. When we think politically, we are encouraged to accept certain patterns of power relations. Exploring political language uncovers the power relations that it assumes. What this means for contemporary (and future) Australian politics is explored through case studies.


On successful completion of this subject, the student will understand:

  1. That power is given effect by ways of thinking and seeing the world that shape our actions and that politics is implicated in this process.
  2. The general applications of ideas in Western polities.
  3. Some of the specific interpretations of ideas in current Australian politics and their relation to governance.
  4. How to deploy advanced skills in textual interpretation, analysis, argument and communication.
  5. How interpret discourse and to assess not only broad political contest but also the discourse of power in everyday relations.


Tutorial report/ review (500 words): 20%
Syndicate group report on outcomes and reflective essay (2000 words): 50%
Exam (2 hours): 30%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week

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



A first year Politics sequence.