United Kingdom, London

Why Democracy?

when 24 July 2017 - 11 August 2017
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 ECTS
fee GBP 1850

This module will ask: "what, if anything, is good about democracy?"

Over the past half-century, democracy has emerged in the global arena as the gold standard for legitimate government. Politics at both the domestic and international levels are routinely criticised for being insufficiently democratic. At the same time, democratic societies face many challenges of good governance, including the threat of instability arising from factionalism and economic inequality.

Political philosophy has a long tradition of scepticism about democratic government, and this module will canvass these philosophical criticisms of democracy.

It will explore the idea of democratic government, asking whether it has merit and why. It will ask questions such as whether persistent minorities can receive fair treatment in a democracy, and whether there can be democratic governance at the global level.

Readings will include historical analyses as well as contemporary philosophical theories, such as deliberative democracy and democratic egalitarianism.

Course leader

Dr Amanda Greene is a lecturer in Political Philosophy. She received her PhD from Stanford University in 2014, where she received an award for excellence in teaching.

Target group

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required for this module, but students are expected to have a keen interest in the area.

Course aim

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

Be able to articulate, explain, and evaluate prominent theories of democracy;

Have developed analyses of arguments for and against democratic government;

Have conducted and presented independent philosophical research on a contemporary challenge of democratic government.

Credits info

7.5 ECTS
7.5 ECTS / 4 US / 0.5 UCL

Fee info

GBP 1850: Students joining us for six weeks (two modules) will receive a tuition discount of £400.
GBP 1000: Students may select a room in our designated Summer School residence for a fee of £1000 for one three-week session. The residence is within 20 minutes walk of UCL and comprises of single occupancy bedrooms with private bathroom and shared, fully-equipped kitchen. Bedding, wifi, coin operated laundry and 24 hour security are provided.

Register for this course
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