Power and Politics

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Power and Politics

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This is a course designed to make you understand the meaning of political power and empower you politically. If you are one of those people who say, "I am not into politics" 2139HUM will help you to change your mind. You will be alerted to how the words, issues and activities of politicians and those who are in government have meaning and relevance to you and your life, and the lives of the people around you. Politics is not separable from the world that you and your family live in and the study of political power will help you to see and understand how politics penetrates every aspect of your life. This is because politics is about the exercise of power - Who has it? Who wants it? Who deserves it? And most importantly - who misses out? We are all into politics even if we do not know it because we have no choice. But the more we know the more we can all benefit (individually and collectively) because learning how politics works and learning about the political skills necessary to negotiate power relations is one of the greatest insights our university education can give us. We look at the politics of class, crisis, culture, the military and violence, and what the meaning of citizenship in a transnational world really is?
    Course Introduction
    This course is about power and politics. Power is both a psychological and sociological phenomena whereby actors can influence other actors in ways that they might not have wanted to act if they had been left to their own devices. The politics of influence is to make individuals act in ways that are conducive to a higher authority (such as the state) in ways that may or may not necessarily benefit them but will benefit the individual or institution who seeks to control their thinking and behavior. This is the most basic of definitions - what we will learn is that there are a number of different theoretical ways - neoliberal, anarchist, Marxist, realist and social democrat - to interpret this basic description of power relations in our society. This is the excitement of political sociology - to learn the perspectives ? and then to make up your own mind critically about which meaning you think is the most useful to yourself and others to bring about positive change.
    Course Aims
    The aims of this Power and Politics course are that you gain an understanding of, and confidence in responding to, situations of power and domination in the social relationships around you. This refers to what you see at the macro level of the state, class and mass media but also at the more micro level in relation to families, universities, think tanks and so on. This course seeks to find out about the underlying machinations of power in social structures and social action. You will become aware of a variety of different theoretical explanations of why this happens and you will be expected to evaluate these for their efficacy.
    The course will be important to you because it will help you to think critically about the political structures that frame your everyday life.
    The learning outcome that you will acquire doing Politics and Power is a greater understanding of the political economy of life in Australia as it compares with the political economy elsewhere in the world. You will feel increased confidence in your ability to knowledgably be able to debate political and current affairs with your peers, family and friends.
    The political economy research skills that you will acquire will assist you if you want to go on and do a PhD or find work connected with politics.
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1.1 develop critical thinking skills about global and national taken-for-granted political and social practices.
    1.2 apply a body of knowledge about the political and social nature of the world, the activities of the state and your role within it.
    2.1 develop the ability to formulate arguments;
    2.2 formulate provocative and interesting research questions;
    2.3 test interesting new ideas by setting up hypotheses.
    3.1 critically examine federal, state and local policy and networks of power;
    3.2 apply for jobs that require political competence, such as with the federal or Queensland state government.
    4.1 share (or seek out) networks of people with interesting political ideas

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.