Course Title: Analysing Policy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Analysing Policy

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011

Course Coordinator: Binnoy Kampmark

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 2174

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.24

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In the 21st century liberal democracies are confronted with the challenge of juggling mechanisms designed to protect us from “others” on one hand, and balancing these mechanisms with individual liberty, privacy, press freedom, freedom of speech and other hallmarks of democracy. The demands of security and human rights come up against each other in the battle to secure and protect Australia citizens. Here the accepted role of the democratic state, as defender and protector of citizen rights, is challenged and potentially undermined by counter terrorism policy responses. This domestic tension is situated in the big picture drama being played out globally between the so called forces of freedom and tyranny. In the quest for Australian security democracy has become a force for both freedom and tyranny.

Peter Gale and others suggest that the climate of fear and conflict which has marked the birth of the 21st century has become the central driver in national and international politics. This “politics of fear” emerged in part from the particular events of 11th September 2001, and concerns in relation to the natural environment, and national and personal security. The result is that security is privileged as the dominant value in public policy.

Throughout the course students will tease out the implications and consequences for rights, freedom, justice and privacy which are diminished by the prominence of security in national policy. The course considers the impact and consequences of security led public policy for democratic principles and practice, particularly cohesion and tolerance.

Students will critically analyse security and human rights legislation and international covenants, together with the reports of government inquiries and community agencies in order to assess the changes for democratic principles and practice. The course will focus on understanding the tensions between public policies aimed at economic, social and political security, and human rights and privacy safeguards. In effect, students will test the idea that it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of this course students will demonstrate the following capabilities: -

• Recognise, describe and demonstrate the effects of privileging security in national public policy;

• Recognise, describe and demonstrate the impact and significance of security regimes for human rights and democratic principles and practice;

• Recognise, describe and demonstrate the impact of fear and security for social cohesion and tolerance;

• Gather, critically analyse, and present policy-related research and literature;

• Successfully lead workshops;

• Prepare reasoned arguments on policy; and

• Confidently discuss, debate and present material on the impact of policy interventions.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be able to engage in a variety of lectures and smaller classes.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be required to do the set readings for each week from a range of sources, in print and online, for each week’s discussion.

Overview of Assessment

You will be required to complete assessment  tasks in order to demonstrate your understanding of  the learning objectives of the course.