Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject provides a conceptual history of Western political thought, from the 17th to the 20th century. Students will review how the theories of influential Western political philosophers (often also political economists) were informed by, and in turn informed, social struggle during this period. The focus is on the political and economic transformation of Western institutions from absolute monarchy to constitutional government, from mercantilism to free market capitalism, and from empire to post-colonialism. Students will also consider the theories and struggles that accompanied the rise and decline of communism, and the purported triumph of liberalism. The subject closes with a challenge. If philosophical, political and economic theories in the West have both emerged from, and informed, social struggle, then how should our contemporary institutions be understood? The subject should appeal to students interested in the crossovers between history, philosophy, politics, and economics. Note: As this is a winter intensive subject, students will need to attend the Melbourne Campus for 6 days in a 2-week period (from 01-12th July 2019).

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorMiriam Bankovsky

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsPOL2HMP

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Interpretive capacity - interpret and explain the ideas of important political theorists
02. Historical understanding of political theory - place the theories of key Western political philosophers in contexts of political and economic struggle
03. Argumentative ability - frame a coherent and well-argued position on the intersection of social struggle and political/economic ideas
04. Research capacity - using relevant primary and secondary source materials, reference and situate your own views in relation to this material.
05. Intellectual discrimination - evaluate the key concepts that are visible in the history of Western political and economic institutions

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Subject not currently offered - Subject options not available.