• 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

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]

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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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $3900
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7314 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 In Person View

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