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

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 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
OfferedCity (Melbourne) First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Petro Georgiou


The unit will examine the fall of 3 PMs, Gorton, Hawke and Rudd and the survival of Howard. A key question considered will be how does a PM get ousted not by the electorate, but by their own parliamentary party. Comparisons with leaders in other democratic systems will be considered, and an examination of the concept of power, the nature of PMs' resources and means by which PMs are deposed from within. The materials for the course will include memoirs, academic analyses and contemporary accounts and reporting. The course will include a seminar series during which key players from Australian political life will discuss their understandings and insights into the fall of a PM.


On completion of this subject students should:

  1. Gain an insight into the dynamics of power at the centre of the Australian Political system;
  2. Be able to draw together material from academic, journalistic, biographic, autobiographic sources in understanding of the fall of Australian Prime Ministers;
  3. be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  4. develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  5. communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively;
  6. develop cross-cultural understanding.


Essay: (2000 words): 40%
Essay (3000 words): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar per week

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


ATS2903/ATS3903 or by permission