Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies, Unit Catalogue 2011/12
|Level:||Honours (FHEQ level 6)|
|Assessment:||CW 33%, ES 67%|
|Supplementary Assessment:||Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)|
To understand the "third wave" of transitions to democracy which began in the last quarter of the 20th century by examining the general scholarly literature on this subject and the experience of a number of individual countries in four different regions of the world (Southern Europe, Latin America, East-Central Europe, the former USSR); to develop skills in comparative political analysis and seminar techniques.
Students who complete the unit successfully will be able to demonstrate:
* a clear grasp of the key issues in democratization in each region;
* familiarity with theoretical arguments surrounding "third wave" transitions;
* the ability to critically evaluate these arguments by reference to national and cross-regional case studies.
Skills in critical analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken language, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, teamwork and the planning/conduct/reporting of non-quantitative research are taught and assessed in this unit.
The unit will begin with a lecture introducing the "third wave" and a discussion of the nature of democracy to establish criteria. This will be followed by lectures on theories of transition, the debate over structure and agency, the significance of external influences and the role of civil society. Introductory lectures on the four regions will be followed by seminar case-studies of individual countries presented by students, each focusing on an aspect of transition highlighted by the experience of the country concerned. The countries and themes chosen will vary from time to time but at present are: Spain - the importance of agency and pacts; Greece - the role of the military; Argentina - neoliberal economic policies; Colombia - illiberal democracy; Venezuela - populism and democracy; Cuba - external pressure for democracy; Poland - civil society; Hungary - political parties and society; Ukraine - institutions; Georgia - political culture. The unit will end with a general discussion, after which students will write an essay comparing an aspect of transition in at least two different regions.
Key texts: S. Huntington The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late 20th Century (1991); D. Potter et al (eds) Democratization (1997).
PL30468 is Optional on the following programmes:Department of Economics