CULT 3021 Theories of Authority

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101913

Coordinator Norma Lam-Saw Opens in new window

Description The subject will trace the idea of authority in the West back to its genesis in Ancient Greece and track its development in modern thought. The aim is to demonstrate the variegated relation between power, law and revolution by closely examining a wide array of texts in a variety of disciplinary fields, including literature.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects CULT 3019 - Politics and Religion


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. describe the historical and conceptual development of the idea of authority
  2. articulate ways in which literature can express political ideas;
  3. identify theories of the state in Western thought;
  4. critique the role of sovereignty in philosophy, literature and culture;
  5. analyse and critique the traditional understanding of law and justice;
  6. evaluate how the relationship between politics and religion affects different ways of thinking;
  7. apply knowledge gained in this subject to other areas of their experience.

Subject Content

. Thucydides
. Augustine: Peace as Universal Political Value
. 16th century: Birth of Modern Sovereignty
. Hobbes: The Spectre of Religious War
. Spinoza - The Necessary Rebel
. Rousseau - Popular Sovereignty
. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat
. Derrida - Democracy to Come
. Foucault - Biopolitics


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 2500 words 50 N Individual
Essay 1000 words 50 N Individual