AIP301 - Political Parties and Social Movements


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125

One unit at level 2 in the Politics and Policy Studies major, or equivalent, or with the permission of the Unit Chair

Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 1-hour lecture per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online

1 x 1-hour lecture per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


A contrast between declining interest in formal politics and increasing interest in the less formal politics of social movements poses challenges to conventional understandings of what should be the main form of democratic mobilisation, organisation and expression. Why are so many people in advanced First World countries cynical about politicians? What can political parties do about this? What has been happening to the nature, operation and function of political parties?

This unit will further students’ knowledge of political parties and social movements by surveying the histories and various configurations of political parties in Australia and other countries. It will also examine how other forms of mobilisation, including social movements, help to revitalise democracy. Topics include: labour movements and parties of labour; conservative and liberal parties; centrist parties; agrarian parties; civil rights and indigenous peoples’ rights movements; student radicalism including in the “sixties”; green movements and parties; feminist movements; new-right movements and neo-liberal parties; xenophobic populist parties; and the anti-corporate or global economic justice movement and Occupy Wall Street movements.

Unit Fee Information

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