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Description: The essay, words in length (excluding references), provides students with the opportunity to explore a topic of interest in depth. Students should develop a considered answer to ONE of the three question below based on reading a range of sources wider than simply the key readings. Note: students MUST read and refer to a minimum of 15 substantive sources. A high standard essay would draw upon a wide range of resources to support a well-organised argument in response to the set question. Remember, there is no ‘correct’ answer to each question: rather, there are arguments that are better expressed, more persuasively made, intelligently constructed, supported with evidence, and with substantial analytical depth. Consider whether the arguments you read are logical and provide convincing evidence. The same criteria should apply to your own work. The Harvard referencing system is required. The essay questions are as follows (choose ONE):

1. What challenges does market failure present to policy makers in Australia, and how have they sought to mitigate these failures?

2. Which ideological perspective is most influential in Australian policy making today?

3. Is the media the most significant policy actor in Australian policy making today? Your essay should use a number of relevant examples or case studies from contemporary Australian politics.

4. Which perspective of power in public policy do you think is more accurate: pluralism or structuralism?

5. Which actors control the agenda in Australian policymaking?

6. Can you think of instances where actors appear not to know what their ‘real’ interests are?

7. In what ways has the capacity for governments to respond to economic challenges changed in the last thirty years?

8. Should governments intervene to prop up important sectors of the economy (e.g. manufacturing, agriculture, defence)?

9. What is ‘vertical fiscal imbalance’, and how does it impact on policy making?