Dictatorship and Democracy

    Unit code: ASP2007 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    Footscray Park
    Students enrolled in course code ABAB and LBLA must complete at least 72 credit points (equivalent to 6 units) in Year 1 before undertaking any Level 2 units.
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    How should political systems be organised? This fundamental question remains entirely relevant today, as countries and organisations around the world seek to pursue complex objectives and to satisfy diverse stakeholders. In this unit, students tackle this question, drawing upon the writings of the theorists and practitioners of power themselves rather than solely via interpretations by others. The course begins with some general questions on dictatorship and democracy. It then moves on to examine the writings of a range of important political theorists. These writings will include examples from Ancient Greece, the Renaissance period in Europe, the Enlightenment period in Europe and America, the Totalitarian movements of the 20th Century, and some diverse contemporary political contexts.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Compare and contrast theories regarding the nature of democracy and dictatorship and the various forms in which these doctrines really exist;
    2. Critically analyse and evaluate concepts and arguments related to political doctrines;
    3. Inspect, gather and critically employ research regarding political theory; and
    4. Articulate arguments and analysis in a precise and concise fashion, both orally and in written form.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Exercise
    Grade: 20%
    Comparison of political systems exercise
    Assessment type: Essay
    Grade: 50%
    Academic essay
    Assessment type: Report
    Grade: 30%
    Reflective report and presentation

    Required reading

    A list of readings will be provided on VU Collaborate.

    As part of a course

    This unit is not compulsory for any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.

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