pol2rap democ, citizen and represent




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject examines representative democracy in Australia. We begin by exploring some of the major theoretical debates over democracy and political representation, then examine how well key elements of representative democracy in Australia measure up to the ideal. We focus on the changing relationship between the media and politics, and the implications of this for political campaigning, public debate, and political engagement; organisational and ideological change in Australia's political parties; and the rise of social movements. We also examine the problem of political inequality, including the under-representation of minority groups, recent concerns about the influence of political donations on government decision-making, and the feasibility of participatory and deliberative alternatives to representative democracy. Students should leave the subject with a better understanding of the democratic ideal and the health (or otherwise) of representative democracy in Australia.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorNicholas Barry

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 15 credit points of any first year Politics subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject, or subject coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjects POL1RAP, POL3RAP, POL11AUP from 2004-2006

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsA Virtuous Circle? Political Communications in Post-Industrial DemocraciesRecommendedNorris, P.CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2000.
ReadingsThe Politics of Party Policy: From Members to LegislatorsRecommendedGauja, A.PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2013.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Produce a research essay that demonstrates a broad knowledge of the multiple sources and perspectives available for studying contemporary Australian politics.

Research essay

02. Produce written work that demonstrates a broad understanding of representation, democracy and citizenship in Australia.

In-class exam; on-going LMS/tutorial activities

03. Write critical reviews that demonstrate the capacity to analyse Australian politics.

Research essay; in-class exam

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2015, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorNicholas Barry

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

TutorialWeek: 31 - 43
One 1.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
One 2,500 word essay5001, 03
Ongoing LMS/tutorial activities (equivalent to 400 words)1502
One mid-semester exam3502, 03