POLIS 2135 - Authoritarian Politics, Change and Asia

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The course begins by exploring Authoritarian and Totalitarian theory, looking at the foundations for the study of this genus of politics. Looked at in this connection will be regimes in Europe, Latin America and those of the modern Middle East and Africa. It will then move to a detailed examination of the contradictions that such approaches pose when assessing the regimes and governments of Asia. Authoritarianism here has been responsible not only for the sustained distortion of states such as Burma, Cambodia and early Communist China, but also presiding over the remarkable economic growth and modernisation under authoritarian regimes such as those of Park Chung-hee's South Korea, Chiang Kai-shek's Taiwan, British Hong Kong, Mahathir Mohamad's Malaysia and post-Deng Xiaoping China. Are such phenomena to do with the politics of economic and social transformation, or is it the historical and cultural characteristics of these states that allow such change to take place? Such questions are important in tracing the development patterns of modern Asia, as well as answering the question of whether authoritarianism and rapid economic development represent a novel coupling in the broader region as it evolves through the so-called Asian Century.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2135
    Course Authoritarian Politics, Change and Asia
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites 12 units of Level I study
    Assumed Knowledge Basic understanding of International Politics and limited knowledge of a number of authoritarian states
    Restrictions Available only to students enrolled in the Bachelor of International Studies
    Assessment 1000 word short exercise 1 (15%), 1000 word short exercise 2 (15%), 2000 word research essay (30%), tutorial presentation (20%), tutorial participation (10%), multiple-choice test (10%)
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Felix Patrikeeff

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the conceptual aspects studied
    2 Show critical understanding of the development of theoretical principles in the disciplinary area(s) studied
    3 Examine, articulate and argue their views soundly in small group discussions
    4 Produce logical arguments in independently researched written work
    5 Demonstrate a capacity to apply theoretical principles to particular research problems
    6 Show a commitment to life-long learning and awareness of the ethical, social and cultural aspects of material studied as well as their importance for professional contexts
    7 Demonstrate leadership and high standards regarding the responsibilities expected at the level of their cohort
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3, 4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3-5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3, 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3, 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour lectures per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorial per week 12 hours per semester
    2 hours reading per week 24 hours per semester
    4 hours research per week 48 hours per semester
    4 hours assignment preparation per week 48 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Information available on enrolment.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Participation Formative and Summative 10% 3, 6, 7
    Tutorial presentation Formative and Summative 20% 3, 6, 7
    Multiple choice test Formative and Summative 10% 1-5
    Short paper 1 Summative 15% 1-5
    Short paper 2 Summative 15% 1-5
    Research essay Summative 30% 1-5
    Assessment Detail
    Participation (10%)
    A final mark will be assigned at the end of the semester.

    Tutorial presentation (20%)
    Students will discuss tutorial topics in the form of a 10-15 minute presentation.

    Short paper 1 (15%)
    Students will write a 1,000 word paper based on Using a specific social, political or international
    context, explore the concept of authoritarianism.

    Short paper 2 (15%)
    Students will write a 1,000 word paper based on a critical examination of some Asian popular culture, drawing into the frame of analysis aspects of what it is that we mean by authoritarianism in an Asian setting, and what is the interplay between this and the process of economic and political change.

    Research essay (30%)
    Students will write a 2,000 word essay answering a question developed by the student in consultation with staff teaching the course.
    Most assignments are to be submitted electronically via MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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