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POLS303 New Zealand's Political Economy


 This paper examines contemporary issues in New Zealand’s political economy, covering topics such as free trade, globalisation, welfare reform, poverty and inequality.

Lecturer and Course Coordinator

Dr Chris Rudd

Prescribed textbook



Written assignment 1 (3000-3500 words)50%
Written assignment 2 (3000-3500 words)50%

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Historical overview of New Zealand politics; inequalities; key actors including trade unions, business associations. Treasury and political parties, major areas of public policy.

In this paper we will first examine three schools of thought drawn from classical political economy. We begin with liberalism and then move on to the idea of mercantilism. Finally, we explore the ideas of Marxism and imperialism. We then briefly review the history of New Zealand's political economy from 1935-2016. We will particularly focus on the John Key/Bill English governments since 2008 and issues that have arisen during this period, such as welfare reform, free trade, taxation, poverty/inequality, privatisation and climate change.

Paper title New Zealand's Political Economy
Paper code POLS303
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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18 200-level POLS points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Pending approval, this paper may be offered for 2018 Summer School.
An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
Teaching staff
Dr Chris Rudd
Paper Structure
The first part of the paper examines the main theoretical approaches to political economy. In the second part of the paper, we examine contemporary issues in political economy.
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Course outline
View a sample course outline for POLS 303
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  1. To acquire knowledge and comprehension of major thinkers in classical political economy
  2. To analyse classical political economic theories and to identify underlying assumptions, cause and effects, how well arguments hang together and whether conclusions well supported
  3. To apply knowledge and understanding of classical political economic theories to New Zealand's recent political economy
  4. To evaluate policies and decision making both in terms of explicitly stated goals/aims as well judgments based on 'external' criteria
  5. To synthesise knowledge, comprehension and analytical and evaluative skills and to create a unique, original piece of written communication

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Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system