Denmark, Copenhagen

Democracy, democratization and Civil Societies in Comparative Perspective

when 1 August 2016 - 15 August 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 7.5 ECTS
fee EUR 807

The study of democracy and democratisation has a long history in the subfield of political sociology. Interest in this topic has expanded dramatically with “The Third Wave of Democratisation” that has swept much of Latin America, Southern Europe, East Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the past three decades. By the start of the 21st century, nearly two-thirds of the world’s states could reasonably be described as democracies. The prevalence of democracy today represents a significant advance from the early 1970s, when more than two-thirds of the world’s states were under authoritarian rule. That progress, however, should not be taken for granted. Many of the world’s newer democracies depart significantly from the liberal ideal, occupying an uneasy middle group or “illiberal democracies”—a governing system in which citizens elect their political leaders but freedom is curtailed by the government. Thus, their democratic prospects remain fragile and backsliding toward autocracy or suffer an outbreak of internal civil war. Furthermore, the Arab Middle East and countries like China, North Korea and Cuba have weathered all waves of democratisation during the past three decades. It remains the only region and countries in which genuine democratic change is absent.

Course leader

Yosef Kamal Ibssa

Target group

The course is open for bachelor and master students

Course aim

At the end of this course module and having completed the essential reading and activities students should be able to

• Describe and evaluate different theories and conceptualisations of democracy and democratisation

• Discern and analyse key factors in facilitating democratisation

• Demonstrate an understanding of the role of civil society and social capital in building and maintaining democracy

• Demonstrate this detailed and critical knowledge and understanding in written and verbal form

Fee info

EUR 807: EU/EEA countries
EUR 1275: Non-EU/EEA countries