Political studies is a broad area of study that tends to overlap with all the other major social science disciplines. It is an excellent discipline for learning about the interrelationships in the human world, and for acquiring a diverse range of interpretive, analytic and synthetic (especially conceptual) skills. The discipline is engaged in critical debates about resource allocation, decision-making, social behaviour and political action, the management or resolution of conflict, power struggles, ideologies and political movements, and the nature of the government and the state, including relations between states. The study of politics is ultimately concerned with important questions about the nature of power and authority, with the relationship between theory and practice, and with trying to understand the nature of social existence and the conditions needed for establishing more desirable forms of human community.
Political studies is offered in the Bachelor of Social Science at Monash South Africa as a major, extended major, or minor.
In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will be able to:
- identify, interpret and explain theoretical and ideological paradigms on politics and international relations with regard to key elements including the role of the state, power and political systems, political economy, democracy and freedom and transformation, closed and open political systems
- critically evaluate and compare multiple perspectives on fundamental political debates concerning power, accountability, freedom and political change domestically, regionally and globally
- critically apply political theory to real world examples of key contemporary issues including: human rights and human security, poverty and development, political violence and terrorism, conflict, identity and multiculturalism, and to a range of political institutions and processes including leadership and elections, policy making, political parties and civil society.