Democratization and Survival of Autocrats

Course NameDemocratization and Survival of Autocrats
Course CodePOS390 / IRS690
DescriptionOver the last forty years, the world has experienced waves of transitions to democracy from autocratic political regimes. While some several cases adopted hybrid forms of government, some others have achieved democratic consolidation. On the other hand, we currently observe that many established democracies experience declines in freedom, while emboldened autocracies step up their repression at home. This course gives a broad overview of the literature explaining these different patterns of democratization and reversals from a comparative perspective. Based on observational data, the course uncovers all different approaches on the causal inferences of democratic transitions, democratic consolidation and democratic declines such as the structural, international, cultural, institutional and rational-choice explanations.
Learning OutcomesUpon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
– Differentiate and give examples for the varying meanings of the concepts such as a “democratic transition,” “democratic consolidation,” “democratic decline” and “democratic breakdown” across space and time;
– Analyze the constitutive and causal factors for democratization and democratic declines in different contexts;
– Bring together the theories of transition, consolidation, regression or breakdown of democracy with empirical observations from different case;
– Develop and defend original arguments in the study of democratization in class discussions and the final research papers;
– Write a research paper with academic quality assessing the explanatory power of the theories of democratization.
SchoolSchool of International Relations and Diplomacy (IRD)
LevelBachelor / Master
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS