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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Summer 2007

GOV S365N • Politics of New Democracies

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
86145 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
MEZ B0.306

Course Description

One of the most important developments in the last quarter century has been the expansion of democracy around the world. The most dramatic events of the late 20th century  the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War  have all been associated with what scholars have called the "third wave" of democratization, in which authoritarian regimes around the world have collapsed in favor of varying degrees of democratic governance. As the threat of communism is replaced by the threat of international terrorism, the role of democracy and its spread around the globe retains its centrality. Fighting terrorism has presented consolidated and emergent democracies with their greatest challenge to date. Democracy is seen as a primary antidote to this threat as well as its chief target. This course will examine the process of democratization in an attempt to determine which factors make the consolidation of democracy in a formerly authoritarian system more likely. The course will be organized thematically rather than regionally, meaning that we will deal primarily with broad issues that (conceivably) can be generalized to all cases. The examples of democratization used in the course will be drawn primarily from Latin America, post-communist states (Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union) and the Middle East but we will also consider democratization in Asia and Africa. After a survey of the central concepts surrounding democratization, the class will focus on specific factors related to successful democratization including: modernization, political culture, institutional design, civil society, and globalization.

Grading Policy

First Take-Home Essay 25% First Multiple Choice Exam 20% Second Take-Home Essay 25% Second Multiple Choice Exam 20% Participation (based on in-class quizzes) 10%


The following book has been ordered at University Coop: Robert A. Dahl, On Democracy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998). Most readings will come from articles and book chapters compiled in a reading packet available at Paradigm Copies.


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