GV384-6-AU-CO:
Democracy, Dictatorship and Regime Change

The details
2020/21
Government
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 6
Current
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
15
05 June 2020

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
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(none)

 

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Key module for

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Module description

This module studies political regimes and regime change. It will introduce classic theories, current debates, and state-of-the-art tools in the field of democratisation. While the number of democratic regimes across the globe grew between the mid-1970s and mid-2000s, it has declined in the last decade and, now, democracy seems to be under attack even in some of its oldest bastions in North America and Western Europe. This raises a number of fundamental questions. What difference does it make to live in a democracy over a dictatorship? How does democracy emerge and what makes it endure? When do democratic revolutions occur? What do the authoritarians do to prevent them? Can democracy be exported? When and how do democracies break down? These are just some of the questions that will be tackled. Although the module employs historical examples and case studies (e.g., democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe or in Latin America), a particular focus lies on the latest political developments (e.g, the Arab Spring, democratic backsliding in Turkey, the rise of illiberal democracy in Hungary and Poland etc.).

Module aims

This module aims to provide students with conceptual tools, theories, and methods to make sense of the world’s changing political landscape. By adopting a scientific approach to the study of major political developments and transformations, it seeks to help students develop sound research aptitudes.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the on-going political transformations and challenges to democratic regimes

2. Formulate analytical questions and develop cogent fact-based arguments in relation to the study of major political developments and transformations.

3. Find relevant information on current political regimes, critically assess it, and incorporate it into a coherent narrative.

4. Present complex political realities and abstract concepts to non-specialists.

5. Collaborate on a group project.

Module information

Syllabus
Week 1 - Introduction: Historical Trends in Democratisation
Week 2 - Democracy: Definitions, Concepts, and Measures
Week 3 - Dictatorships: Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes
Week 4 - Democratisation: Structural Explanations
Week 5 - Democratisation: Agency Approach
Week 6 - Democratisation Paths
Week 7 - Democratic Consolidation: What Makes Democracy Endure?
Week 8 - Political Regimes and Development
Week 9 - Contemporary Authoritarianism: Forms and Tools
Week 10 - Contemporary Challenges and Future Prospects for Democracy

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered with a two-hour weekly seminar that will be live streamed to students off-campus.

Bibliography*

  • Carles Boix; Stokes, Susan C. (2003) 'Endogenous Democratization', in World Politics. vol. 55 (4) , pp.517-549
  • Cheibub, Jose Antonio; Przeworski, Adam; Limongi Neto, Fernando Papaterra; Alvarez, Michael M. (1996) 'What Makes Democracies Endure?', in Journal of Democracy. vol. 7 (1) , pp.39-55
  • Huntington, Samuel P. (1991) 'What? The Start of the Third Wave', in The third wave: democratization in the late twentieth century, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. vol. v. 4, pp.3-30
  • Koesel, Karrie J.; Bunce, Valerie J. (2013-09) 'Diffusion-Proofing: Russian and Chinese Responses to Waves of Popular Mobilizations against Authoritarian Rulers', in Perspectives on Politics. vol. 11 (3) , pp.753-768
  • Schmitter, Philippe C. (2016) 'From Transitology to Consolidology', in Democratisation in the 21st Century: Reviving Transitology, London: Routledge.
  • Fukuyama, Francis. (2015) 'Why Is Democracy Performing So Poorly?', in Journal of Democracy. vol. 26 (1) , pp.11-20
  • Schmitter, Philippe C; Karl, Terry Lynn. (1991) 'What Democracy Is. . . and Is Not', in Journal of Democracy. vol. 2 (3) , pp.75-88
  • Miller, Michael K. (2015-10) 'Electoral Authoritarianism and Human Development', in Comparative Political Studies. vol. 48 (12) , pp.1526-1562
  • Grugel, Jean; Bishop, Matthew Louis. (2014) Democratization: a critical introduction, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Teorell, Jan. (2010) Determinants of Democratization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kitschelt, Herbert; Mansfeldova, Zdenka; Markowski, Radoslaw; Toka, Gabor. (1999) 'Historical Legacies and Strategies of Democratization: Pathways toward Post-Communist Polities', in Post-Communist Party Systems: Competition, Representation, and Inter-Party Cooperation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., pp.19-42
  • Lipset, Seymour Martin. (1959-03) 'Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy', in American Political Science Review. vol. 53 (1) , pp.69-105
  • Levitsky, Steven; Way, Lucan. (2002) 'The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism', in Journal of Democracy. vol. 13 (2) , pp.51-65
  • Huntington, Samuel P. (1991) The third wave: democratization in the late twentieth century, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. vol. v. 4
  • Rustow, Dankwart A. (1970-04) 'Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model', in Comparative Politics. vol. 2 (3) , pp.337-
  • Valerie J. Bunce; Wolchik, Sharon L. (2010) 'Defeating Dictators: Electoral Change and Stability in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes', in World Politics. vol. 62 (1) , pp.43-86
  • McFaul, Michael. (2002-01) 'The Fourth Wave of Democracy Dictatorship: Noncooperative Transitions in the Postcommunist World', in World Politics. vol. 54 (2) , pp.212-244
  • Carles Boix. (2019) Democratic Capitalism at the Crossroads, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Group Project    20% 
Coursework   Essay    80% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Filip Kostelka, email: filip.kostelka@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Filip Kostelka
Dr Kostelka fk18434@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator SAllyann West govquery@essex.ac.uk@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
No

External examiner

Dr Arzu Kibris
University of Warwick
Associate Professor
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Government

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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