1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 12-hour on-line lecture per semester
Assignments, Case studies, Project, Seminar, Tests
Topic description

Contemporary society is a product of a series of revolutions: political, social, economic, technological, sexual, etc. This topic introduces students to the ways in which society has evolved through such revolutions of established order and ways of thinking. It discusses how the prevalence of revolutionary processes structures politics into conservative and progressive/liberal camps. The topic places at its centre the debates on the dynamics between capitalism, socialism and democracy. Lastly, the topic thematizes the most recent revolutions at the everyday level, including those tied to the internet, to rising levels of inequality, to sexual and gender identities, and to the environment.

Educational aims

The principal aim of this topic is to discuss the ways in which economic and social forces determine the content and form of politics. The topic provides students the basis to make an informed judgment on government policies based on the understanding of the interrelation between capitalism, socialism and democracy. Additionally, the topic introduces students to some of the classical political and economic thinkers of modern times.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the basic debates on the legitimacy of capitalism and socialism from the perspective of democracy
  2. Explain the social basis of the modern connection between politics and revolutionary change
  3. Analyse on-going demands for political, economic and social changes in relation to a series of contemporary issues

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.