Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSouth Africa School of Social Sciences
OfferedSouth Africa Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Victoria Graham


The unit is a survey course on the history and politics of South Africa's long transition from colonial capitalist development through the period of the Apartheid regime to constitutional democracy. The challenges faced by the new state and society to achieve the dual but complex tasks of deepening mass-based legitimate participatory democracy and securing sustainable development for all citizens are placed within an international context, comparing South Africa's modern history to that of other new and democratising states and raising up scholarly debates over these essential challenges confronting all new states.


On successful completion of the unit the student will have:

  • Intellectual familiarity with the main conceptual issues relevant to the Unit: democracy, nationalism, development and under development, theories and concepts relating to late developing states, political parties and civil society and key terms in international affairs: ie. globalization, unilateralism, bilateralism and multilateralism
  • Knowledge of the main events, processes, issues, personalities, ideas and politics in the modern history of South Africa
  • An understanding of the relationships between the South African state and society and wider global politics and international relations
  • An understanding of the main currents in wider political discourses, within South Africa and internationally, concerning new states, democracy and development in the contemporary post 1945 and post-Cold War worlds
  • An understanding of the main currents within academic debate, within South Africa and internationally, concerning South Africa's modern history and politics and its place within in the modern world
  • Experience in working with and understanding the different characteristics of various forms of evidence, both primary and secondary, documentary, oral and visual
  • Experience in conducting research using both primary and secondary sources
  • Improving oral, writing, presentation and debating styles


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


ATS2644, ATS3644, AZA2644