ATS2699 - Parties and power - 2017

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

Politics and International Relations


Dr Nick Economou

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


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

  1. the emergence of the party system in liberal democratic states ii. the organisation and ideologies of the parties

    iii. the role of parties in the political life of liberal democratic states

    iv. the comparison of the Australian party system with party systems in other liberal democratic states

  2. the relationship between political parties and social movements vi. 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 liberal democracies


  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; ii. To foster a comparative understanding of how parties and party systems are organized in liberal democratic states

    iii. To develop a knowledge of the contribution political science has made to the theorizing about parties and party systems;

    iv. To foster an understanding of the applicability of theories about organisation and power to an analysis of political parties

  2. 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; vi. 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.


Within semester assessment: 60% + Exam: 40%

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 first-year Arts units. It is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two gateway units in Politics.