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

Spring 2008

GOV 390L • Democratization in Comparative Perspectives

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39585 TH
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
BAT 5.102
Brownlee. J

Course Description

This course examines the forms and meanings of democracy around the world. Under what conditions do individuals and societies redistribute power, establish political equality, and exercise democracy? Our empirical coverage will circle the globe and analyze the spectrum of regime change processes, from persistent dictatorships to durable democracies. This seminar is designed for Ph.D. students in Government who are planning to take comprehensive exams, write dissertations, and reflect long afterwards about the causes and significance of democratization. The course will be reading- and thought-intensive. Each week students will be expected to prepare approximately 220 pages of material for a lively and informed class discussion.

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on weekly participation (50%) and a choice of research paper or exam (50%).


Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966). Deborah Yashar, Demanding Democracy: Reform and Reaction in Guatemala and Costa Rica, 1870s-1950s (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1997). Carles Boix, Democracy and Redistribution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). Jennifer Gandhi, Political Institutions under Dictatorship (NYU Ph.D. dissertation, 2004). Jillian Schwedler, Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). Dan Slater, Ordering Power: Contentious Politics, State-Building, and Authoritarian Durability in Southeast Asia (Emory University Ph.D. dissertation, 2005). Staffan Lindberg, Democracy and Elections in Africa (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Benjamin Smith, Hard Times in the Land of Plenty: Oil and Politics in Iran and Indonesia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007). And others to be determined.


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