• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Svitlana Chernykh
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

How and why has democracy spread across the world? Is democracy important for citizens? How can international actors help encourage the spread of democracy? What does the history of democracy say about Australian history? This course will teach students about various aspects of democracy in a comparative and international context. We will read about the major theories concerning the modes of democratic transition and breakdown, the country-level and international factors that predict democracy, and the impact democracy has on policies and economic outcomes.

Each week will bring attention to a country case or set of cases that illustrate the theories. Students will also pick a specific country case to research and write about.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. discuss essential facts on the spread of democracy across time, region, and economic conditions;
  2. assess the major theories on modes of democratic transition and breakdown, the prediction of democracy, and the effects of democratic government based on empirical evidence and examples;
  3. discuss a particular country case example and how it fits with broader theories of democracy with specific empirical knowledge;
  4. analyse potential approaches to democracy promotion in light of the history of democracy; and
  5. place Australian democracy in a comparative context and discuss how Australia fits in with the major theories of democracy.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 3 Short Essays, 1000 words each (60) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Exam, 3 essay question responses (30) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  3. Tutorial Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and,

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Political Science (POLS) courses, or with permission of the convener.

Prescribed Texts





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3147 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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