POLIS 3102 - Dilemmas of the Modern State

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This objective of this course is to give students an understanding the development and transformation of the modern state including an overview of major approaches - both empirical, normative and comparative - to the analysis of the modern state. The central organizing theme of this course is the relationship between the modern state and its response (or lack of) to emerging social, economic and environmental crises and the way these crises pose challenges to contemporary 'national' scales of statehood, welfare, and developmentalist state forms. A particular emphasis will be placed on the normative challenges these developments pose for conception of citizenship rights, distributive justice, and political community. The course will specifically explore the impact of forms of market-oriented restructuring on the organization and practice of democratic politics in Australia and elsewhere. The course will also analyse new patterns of political mobilization, contestation and resistance including those around gender and culture. Finally, we will survey a variety of methodological strategies through which scholars have attempted to decipher the forces shaping the state under conditions of heightened geo-economics volatility, and widespread adoption of 'austerity' politics across the globe.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 3102
    Course Dilemmas of the Modern State
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Assessment 3000 word Research essay 50%, 1500 word Research Summaries and Evaluations 15%, 15%, SGD Workshop group attendance & participation 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Tiziana Torresi

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 discuss in depth the major empirical, normative and comparative approaches to the analysis of the modern state
    2 demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the development and transformation of the modern state in response to emerging social, economic and environmental crises
    3 design a research project, including defining a research question which addresses a gap in the knowledge and selecting an appropriate methodology
    4 apply analytical and critical skills to real life case studies
    5 work cooperatively and communicate effectively in a group
    6 understand and manage groups dynamics and emotional responses and their own role in this context
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    5, 6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4, 5, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 2
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There will be a reader for this course
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    One 1hour lecture and one 2-hour workshop. 

    The seminar-oriented workshops are central to the teaching approach in this course. While the lectures are necessary for framing and background, the workshops are used to apply analytical, critical and methodological skills to case studies and issues as well as to develop students’ ability to communicate effectively and manage interactions and work in groups. 

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

    1 x 1-hour lectures per week 12 hours per semester
    2 x 1-hour workshop per week 24 hours per semester
    6 hours reading per week 72 hours per semester
    3 hours research per week –individual and group 36 hours per semester
    1 hours assignment preparation per week 12 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Introduction to the Course
    Week 2 The Modern State
    Week 3 Citizenship unbound
    Week 4 Scaling Rights
    Week 5 The Scope of Justice
    Week 6 The Crisis of Social Democracy
    Week 7 The Limits of Markets: Market Economy and Market Society
    Week 8 Private and Public Goods: Shifting Boundaries
    Week 9 The Transformation of Work
    Week 10 Borders
    Week 11 Social Movements, Contestation and Resistance
    Week 12 Summing up: The Future of the Modern state
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students carry out a research exercises in small groups during the semester and present the results to the class.
  • 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
    3000 word research essay Summative 50% 1, 2, 3, 4
    1500 word research summaries & evaluations Summative 15% 3, 4
    Workshop group attendance and individual participation Formative and Summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Group research work (SGD activities) Summative 15% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Assessment Detail
    1500 word research summaries and evaluations: students will be required to examine and evaluate relevant literature on lecture and workshop topics with the aim of clarifying their research essay question and refining references to be employed in that research essay -15%

    3000 word essay: students will be required to develop and write a research essay on topics agreed with the convenor - 50%  

    Workshops group attendance and individual participation: students work together in groups on problems faced by modern states and their citizenry; students discuss and share information in small groups and with the whole class- 20%

    SGD activities (group research): students work in groups on specific research assignments throughout the semester; in the process they engage in participation and management of group practices and reports -15%
    One electronic copy of the reserach essay must be submitted through Turnitin on or before the deadline. This can be done via Canvas.
    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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