Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Sciences


Mr Charles Villet


South Africa

  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


The unit introduces some central debates in contemporary political theory. The unit adopts a global perspective but looks at issues through a South African and African lens. The first third of the unit examines some essential recent work on the liberal conception of justice and equality. The second part of the unit looks at socialist, feminist and communitarian critiques of liberalism. The final third of the unit is concerned with the foundations and limits of religious toleration and individual freedom in a multicultural society. These topics are linked to society in South Africa and Africa in general, with particular reference to some of the political problems and dilemmas encountered within this context.


Students successfully completing the unit will have an understanding of current debates over the core political concepts of justice, freedom and equality. Students will be able to formulate and analyse these issues in relation to the problem of inter-cultural tolerance in a pluralistic society.Students at third year level will also have developed skills in independent research in political philosophy; a deeper and more thorough understanding of the issues covered in the unit; and a familiarity with a wider range of literature in political philosophy. Students will also be able to critically assess South African society and its accompanying political problems from the point of view of the unit.


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


AZA2869, ATS2869, ATS3869