AIP301 - Political Parties and Social Movements

Unit details


2023 unit information

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

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



Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

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

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

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

Scheduled learning activities - online:

1 x 1-hour class 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.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Review and analyse major theoretical, conceptual, and policy debates about the nature and significance of political parties and social movements

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Effectively communicate the findings and analyses of research on political parties and social movements that deploys political concepts, theories and technical knowledge, in written and oral formats, to an informed readership and audience

GLO2: Communication


Analyse and critically evaluate different interpretations of political parties and social movements

Demonstrate knowledge of the different theoretical approaches used to investigate political phenomena

Recognise the importance of ethical standards of conduct in the research and analysis of politics

GLO4: Critical thinking


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Seminar and online exercises 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Ongoing
Assessment 2 - Essay 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via AIP301
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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