Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPolitics
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Prato Term 3 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr. Michael Ure


This is an international study program that requires an application to be enrolled - see the Arts Prato page for further information http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/prato/


Political passions play a central role in contemporary democracies. Yet political theory neglects the passions or conceives them as dangers to democracy. This unit asks: What are democracy's emotional foundations? It considers the way the passions might support citizens' commitment to equality, respect and social inclusion. It investigates how 'positive' emotions such as compassion sustain or build democratic civil solidarity; the possibilities of recuperating 'negative' emotions such as shame and resentment so that they do not engender extremism or political violence; and the role of democratic political leaders, institutions and movements in mobilising and responding to the passions.


Upon successful completion of this unit subject students should:

  1. Have a basic knowledge of classical and modern theories of the passions and emotions;
  2. Understand modern political theory debates and controversies about the political role of the passions;
  3. Understand recent debates about democracy's emotional foundations;
  4. Apply political theories of the passions to contemporary case studies;
  5. Develop skills in oral and written communication by addressing theoretical debates about the political role of the emotions and applying these to case studies.

In addition, students who successfully complete the unit at a 3rd year level will:

  1. Demonstrate a higher level of conceptual understanding than 2nd year students;
  2. Undertake a greater degree of independent research and reading in completing their assignments.


Short essay (500 words): 10%
Essay (2500 words): 50%
2 Hour examination (approx 1500): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture/seminar per week.

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