- Code POLS4019
- Unit Value 6 units
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This honours-level seminar course introduces students to the major debates that have animated scholarly literature on the rise, nature and breakdown of democracy. It takes participants through a series of core texts from the last fifty years concerning how democracy is best defined, how and under what conditions democratic regimes come into place and break down, and how democracy interacts with other important political and social phenomena (such as inequality and ethnicity), as well as on authoritarian alternatives to democracy. The later parts of the course focus on contemporary challenges facing democracy worldwide. Students will be expected to critically assess alternative approaches to the study of democratic regimes and breakdown, and to apply the theories they encounter through comparative analysis of historical and contemporary cases.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Engage with various approaches to comparative analysis of democratic regimes, democratization, democratic breakdown and challenges facing contemporary democracy.
- Critically assess the quality of alternative approaches to the study of democracy and the assumptions that underpin these approaches.
- Apply contending theories to historical and contemporary cases
- Communicate knowledgeably on contending approaches to the study of democracy and their relevance to the contemporary world.
- Critical Discussion (10) [LO 2,4]
- Reading response papers (20) [LO 2,3,4]
- Critical Review Essay, 2000 words (20) [LO 1,2,4]
- Research Essay, 5000 words (50) [LO 1,4]
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3-hour weekly seminar (x 12). 7 hours personal study.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- 6 units
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