Democracy and Democratization in Contemporary Europe

Department of Political Science and International Studies, School of Government and Society

College of Social Sciences


Code 20918

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester 1+2

Pre-requisite modules Where students take this course as a 10 credit unit they will be expected to undertake self directed study of the material not covered from the readin

Module description

This module offers a comparative study of the wave of democratisation that set off in the mid 1970s and has swept much of Southern Europe, Latin America and Eastern Europe during the past two decades. The module will analyse the theoretical literatures on contemporary democratisation and regime change and will compare the experiences of countries emerging from different types of non-democratic rule, focusing in particular on the post-authoritarian democracies of Southern Europe and post-communism in East-Central Europe. It provides an overview of the most salient of the democratisation literature, the basic issues at state in the contemporary debates, and explores the concepts of `democracy¿ and `democratic consolidation¿.

The topics investigated involve the socio-economic, political and international dimensions of democratisation; the different possible paths towards democracy their consequences and the consolidation of democracy; institution building in new democracies; the development of political parties and party systems; and the territorial, economic and cultural aspects transitions to democracy and democratic consolidation. These topics will be approached from a comparative perspective, whereby particular attention will be given to the scope of comparison and concept formation in comparative politics.

Teaching and learning methods

These courses are taught by a combination of lectures, classes and directed reading.

This module is available as:
Autumn term only 10 credit unit – 3,000 word assessed essay
Spring term only 10 credit unit – 3,000 word assessed essay
Whole Year 20 credit unit – Presentation (10%), 3,000 word summative essay (40%), plus 3 hour examination (50%)