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Photo: Markus Spiske

The Performance of Democracies

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
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Application open
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Full education cost: 21 750 SEK
First payment: 21 750 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

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Application opens 15 March 2021


The course addresses questions about the ability of democratic states to generate desirable outcomes in various fields. The focus is on questions such as why and how democratic states succeed or fail in different areas. You also study consequences of the performance of democracy on citizens' attitudes and support for democracy.

The course is offered as an elective in-depth course within the Master's programme in Political Science, and as a single subject course.


In this course you explore factors that explain cross country variation in democratic performance and their implications. More specifically, it is concerned with how institutional variation among democratic regimes is related to outcomes in general dimensions of performance, such as, human well-being, corruption and sound management of public finances, among others.

It therefore takes a quality of ‘governance’ perspective, focusing on why and how democracies ‘succeed or fail'. You also get to study the implications that follow for citizen attitudes and democratic support.

Prerequisites and selection


Admission to the course requires a minimum of 30 credits at the second cycle in Political Science or a minimum of 30 credits from courses in one of the programmes Master's Programme in European Studies or Master's Programme in International Administration and Global Governance, or equivalent coursework. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 225 credits.

For admission to the summer 2021 and onward the following selection applies: selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.

After graduation

The course can be combined with other in-depth courses in political science as well as method and thesis courses on the advanced level.


The Department of Political Science is located in Campus Haga, which lies right in the centre of the city of Gothenburg.

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