Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Nick Economou


Previously coded PLT3521


This is an advanced unit in Australian Politics which concentrates on the political party system. It involves an examination of:

  1. the emergence of the Australian party system
  2. the organisation and ideologies of the parties
  3. the role of parties within parties
  4. the nature of competition among the parties
  5. the relationship between political parties and social movements
  6. the relationship between the party system and the electoral system.

A theme of the subject will be the way the parties exercise political power in Australia.


  1. To foster an understanding of the importance of political parties as organizational forms by which citizens in a liberal democracy seek to influence governance;
  2. To foster a comparative understanding of how parties and party systems are organized in liberal democratic states
  3. To develop a knowledge of the contribution political science has made to the theorizing about parties and party systems;
  4. To foster an understanding of the applicability of theories about organisation and power to an analysis of political parties
  5. To develop a clear understanding of the forms and dynamics of inter-party and intra-party politics, and the impact this has on debates about public policy and governance;
  6. To develop advanced analytical skills so that graduates can analyse organisational power and communicate these skills by way of coherent argument in tutorial situations, and to present rigorously analytical research essays.


Essay (2000 words): 40%
Tutorial participation: 10%
Examination (2 hours): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

3 hours (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week

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


A first-year sequence in Politics or permission.