Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Assoc. Prof. Paul Strangio


Leadership is indispensable to politics. Yet it is also a problematic concept within liberal democracies that have traditionally set out to constrain leadership authority. In recent times in Australia and other comparable parliamentary democracies debate has surfaced about the growth of leadership power (particularly that of prime ministers) as a result of institutional changes in the political system and other developments in the practice of politics. This unit examines changes in the nature and role of leadership in Australian politics. It also theorises political leadership, introducing students to political psychology that explores the complex relationship between leaders and followers.


On successful completion of this unit students at levels two and three will be able to:

  1. understand how liberal-democratic systems have traditionally addressed the issue of leadership;
  2. understand debates about the augmentation of prime ministerial power in Australia and comparable parliamentary democracies;
  3. understand some of the theoretical debates about leadership and political psychology and the relationship between leaders and followers;
  4. apply theoretical understandings to a case study of Australian political leadership;
  5. display developing skills in spoken and written communication in addressing questions of the changing relationship between leadership and politics;


Class participation: 20%
research essay (2500 words): 40%
2-hour examination (2000 words): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Two hours per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two Gateway units in politics