Teaching

Teaching

My current position at the University of Tasmania includes a significant teaching component. While this inevitably limits the time I can devote to research, I really enjoy teaching and think promoting student’s interest in and knowledge of the political world is one of the most important aspects of my professional work.

Over my ten years as an academic I have taught almost 20 courses on topics ranging from Australian Politics to International Political Economy. Within this broad teaching experience I tend to specialise in first year teaching and have spent a good deal of time developing curricula, innovate assessment regimes, web-based learning resources as well as writing three teaching texts (click here for details). While technical aspects of the teaching practice are important, I’ve come to the view that successful first year teaching is about being energetic, enthusiastic and engaging – I just hope I measure up!

This page provides a brief summary of the courses I currently teach in the School of Government at the University of Tasmania. If you are either a prospective student or a fellow political scientist then please feel free to contact me for additional information about these courses.

HSG 101 People Power and Policy (1st year core unit)

This unit provides an introduction to contemporary political practice in Australia. It examines the Australian political system and compares it with other major liberal democracies such as the United States. It focuses on important policy challenges confronting the Australian government, examining the nature of political power and how it is exercised in the Australian context.

HSG102 Politics and Nations  (1st year core unit)

This unit examines central elements of politics concerning power, order, conflict and justice that are fundamental to understanding the way we are governed, and how politics is played out in the international sphere. It introduces students to key ideas and ideologies that have framed politics in the past and that shape it today. These are then applied to major contemporary issues such as war, radical terrorism, human rights, environmental degradation, US power and globalisation.

HSA 222 Washington to Westminster (2nd year core unit – political science major)

This unit provides an introduction to comparative political analysis. It establishes the main issues and approaches in the study of comparative politics before examining the key historical, cultural and institutional variations in national political systems before assessing their enduring influence on national political process and outcomes. While the focus on the unit will be on mature democracies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany, reference will be made to developing democracies.

HSA 205/305 American Politics (2nd/3rd year elective)

This unit provides a comprehensive introduction to American politics. The unit begins with an overview of United States political history, culture and institutions before focusing the nature and impact of recent presidencies. It examines key issues which dominate contemporary US politics and provides insights into ideas and actors which influence these debates. The unit concludes by evaluating key trends in US politics and the their likely implications.

HSD 208/308 Government-Business Relations (2nd/3rd year elective)

The unit explores the relationship between business, government and civil society in capitalist countries, including Australia. Following an examination of different models of business-government relations the unit analyses the history of business-government relations in Australia, the United States and Japan, and examines their different arrangements for regulating trade practices, maintaining competitiveness and managing workplace relations.

HSD 241/431 Global Political Economy (2nd/3rd year elective)

Introduces students to the theory and practice of global political economy. Following an examination of neorealist, neoliberal, institutionalist and critical approaches to global political economy, the unit examines the  structure of and issues confronting the global economy in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis.

HSD 429 Issues in Public Sector Governance (Masters/Honours)

This unit examines the origins, theory and practice of public administration and management in modern political systems. Bureaucracy, responsible government, the career service, and the politics, principles and criticisms of ‘managerialism’ will be examined. The unit examines the principles of strategic management and planning, budgeting and financial management, performance management and review, organisational design, personnel management and information systems.

Research Supervision

Over the past decade I have supervised a number of Honours and Masters research projects on topics ranging from Australian politics and public policy to comparative and international political economy.

I have also successfully supervised the following PhD projects:

* Dr Xandra Faulkner (2006) ‘The spirit of accommodation: The influence of the ALP’s national factions on party policy, 1996-2004’

* Dr Brett Freudenberg (2009) ‘Tax Transparent Companies: Striving for Tax Neutrality? A Comparative Study of Tax Transparent Companies and their Potential Application for Australian Closely Held Businesses’

While my preference is to provide intensive supervision to two or three graduate students at any one time, I’m always interested in supervising motivated graduate students with a strong honours degree in political science (or equivalent) who share my research interests.