Varieties of Democracy and Democratization
This course confronts theories of what democracy is and ought to be with different approaches to measuring varieties of democracy across time and space. Through this course, you gain advanced knowledge on theories of democratization and the failure of democracy, and get training in how to systematically analyze and evaluate these theories.
The course is offered as a semi-elective in-depth course within the Master's program in Political Science, and as a single subject course.
In the wake of the Cold War, the word ‘democracy’ has begun to sound like a mantra, but what does it really mean? There is no consensus about how to conceptualize and measure it well enough to support meaningful and accurate comparisons through time and across countries. For policymakers, activists, academics, and citizens around the world, it matters how democracy is conceptualized and measured.
There is a large body of work in social science that deals with these issues, i.e., the nature, causes, consequences, and trajectories of democracy around the world. This course deals with the dynamics of democratization from the perspective of theoretical debates, and with analysis of historical experiences as well as with immediate policy questions. The course scrutinizes how democracy has been conceptualized, measured, even explained, and offers the opportunity to analyze comparative case studies and to provide in-depth analysis on the themes covered.
In the course, you approach the topics in a theoretically guided manner and with emphasis on methodological challenges. You make extensive use of both qualitative and quantitate data, including the new Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) database co-produced by University of Gothenburg and University of Notre Dame (US).