You are viewing this page as an international student.
Change to Domestic

You are a domestic student if you are an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent visa.

You are an international student whether you are within or outside Australia and you do not meet the domestic student criteria.

COVID-19 (coronavirus): Latest advice for the Bond community.

PHIL12-205: Political Philosophy: Freedom, Justice and the State September 2017 [Standard]

General information

This subject examines key concepts in democratic and political theory. The question of what it means for citizens to have an equal chance of participation or influence in public affairs will be considered. Other issues to be explored include justice, freedom, rights, democracy and public interest.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:PHIL12-205
Subject title:Political Philosophy: Freedom, Justice and the State
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:September 2017
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours
Attendance and learning activities: 80% attendance at lectures and tutorials. Roll taken.


Prescribed resources:
  • Will Kymlicka (2002). Contemporary Political Philosophy. Oxford : Oxford University Press
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Knowledge of the major theoretical perspectives in contemporary political philosophy.
  2. Capacity to engage critically in issues of political philosophy.
  3. Capacity to apply political philosophical principles and theories to contemporary issues and problems.
  4. Capacity to effectively communicate complex ideas and arguments
  5. Appreciation of and respect for a wide variety of political and moral opinion.
  6. Capacity to engage in group discussion of contested ideas in an intelligent and cooperative manner.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
*Reading Diary Reading Diary 20% Progressive 1.
*Class Participation Tutorial participation 10% Weekly 5, 6.
Essay Essay (1500 words) 30% Week 5 2, 3, 4.
Essay Essay (2000 words) 40% Week 12 2, 3, 4.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

What is political philosophy? What are its methods? Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter One.

An introduction and critical assessment of utilitarianism as a form of political philosophy. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter Two.

Is equality a defensible political value? What kind of equality? How is it reconciled with demands for political freedom? We examine the work of John Rawls and John Dworkin. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter Three.

Libertarians promote individual economic liberty over social justice goals. What is the philosophical basis for their views? Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter Four.

Introduction to contemporary applications of Marxism in political philosophy: analytical Marxism. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter Five.

Weeks 1-5 concentrate on economic justice as a benchmark value of political philosophy. We change focus in the remainder of the course: focussing on social issues and political participation. We view and discuss the film: Jesus Camp.

We examine the communitarian challenge to liberal political philosophy. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter 6, sections 1-6.

We examine Rawls' attempt to accommodate communitarian insights and describe the legitimate role minority cultural preferences might play in a just democratic state. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter 6, sections 7-11

We examine the views of philosophers who place the demands and status of political citizenship at the core of political philosophy. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter 7.

We examine the challenges created for political philosophy created by the claims of minority cultures and groups in a multicultural society. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter 8.

We examine some work in contemporary feminist political philosophy. Reading: Kymlicka, Chapter 9.

We put the various theories and principles we have examined throughout the semester into an overall context and ask the key question: where to now?

Approved on: Jul 31, 2017. Edition: 2.1