POLI 3012 The Politics of Civilisation

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102005

Coordinator Brett Bowden Opens in new window

Description What is civilisation? What are civilisations? What does it mean to be civilised? What does it mean to be uncivilised, barbaric or savage? These are some of the key questions explored in this unit. We will investigate the normative demands of civilisation, from 16th Century European colonial 'civilising missions' to the 21st Century global war on terror. We will explore the history of relations between civilisations in light of the 'clash of civilisations' thesis, including relations between the Western and Islamic worlds. We will discover the power of ideas and the influence they can have on real world policy-making.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Political Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


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. Evaluate the power of ideas
  2. Draw causal links between the past and the present
  3. Identify the importance of culture and values in inter-civilisations relations
  4. Outline macro-historical political process

Subject Content

- The ideal of Civilisation
- Civilisation and Progress
- Universal Civilisation
- Standards of Civilisation
- The Burden of Civilisation
- Civilising Missions
- new Barbarism
- new Imperialism
- Civilisation and War
- Civilisational relations

Prescribed Texts

  • Bowden, Brett. 2009. The Empire of Civilization: the Evolution of an Imperial Idea. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.