AIP783 - Rethinking Democracy: Past, Present and Future


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule: Nil


Corequisite: Nil
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 - online

Online independent and collaborative learning activities equivalent to 1 x 1-hour per week


Democracy has never been more popular. For those who have it, democracy offers a grab-bag of rights and freedoms not found in other regime types; for those who want it, democracy holds the promise of a better life free from the constraints of oppressive forms of power. But where does democracy come from and what challenges loom ahead for this sophisticated form of governance? This unit invites students to challenge their assumption about the nature, history and contemporary practice of democracy – both in the “West” and elsewhere. It provides an alternative narrative about the complex and contested history of democracy and offers nuanced insights into some of its greatest achievements, from ancient Greece and Rome, through the signing of the Magna Carta and the French Revolution and on to women’s suffrage and civil rights. It then discusses various contemporary successes and failures of democracy including the relationship between Islam and democracy, the rise of non-democratic superpowers, and recent novel innovations from truth and reconciliation commissions to participatory budgeting. The unit concludes by examining what the future of democracy might look like. Students will benefit by being able to situate contemporary politics and their own political practice within a rich understanding of the complex and contested history of democracy.

Unit Fee Information

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