AZA2010 - Political ideologies - 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

South Africa School of Social Science


Mr Laurence Caromba

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


In most democracies, politics is dominated by political parties that are organised around competing ideologies. Ideologies offer explanations for the problems with the status quo, and advocate a programme for creating a better world. They can exert a powerful hold on their adherents, and clashes between ideologies have resulted in terrible wars. As a result, it is important to understand what different ideologies say. In this module, students will learn to identify and evaluate a variety of ideological traditions. This course will introduce students to the 'classical' political ideologies of liberalism, conservatism and socialism. It will also discuss newer ideological trends, such as feminism, green politics, and religious fundamentalism. This will equip students with the knowledge to understand the undercurrents of democratic politics.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. discuss the classic political ideological ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and nationalism;
  2. explain the modern ideologies of feminism, environmentalism, and religious fundamentalism;
  3. identify and discuss the key thinkers within each ideological tradition;
  4. successfully undertake a variety of research and writing tasks;
  5. demonstrate improved oral and written communication skills, particularly in relation to the analysis and explanation of ideas and the development of an argument.


Within semester assessment: 70%

Exam: 30%

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.

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