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BSPO 1680A - Democratic Ideals and Democratic Practice in the Modern World

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of democracy. We shall look at key principles of democratic theory, including equality, participation, deliberation and representation. We shall also examine the way in which democracies function and how well they meet the standards that are implied in the ideals of democracy. The literature on comparative democratization also enables us to examine the preconditions for democracy, whether they be economic, social or cultural.


WEALE, Albert (Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy / Programme Director of Executive MPA in Global Public Policy and Management, University College London (UCL))

Pedagogical format

The detailed sequence of topics is as follows: 1a. Introduction: Beyond the End of History. 1b. Varieties of Democracy. 2a. Democracy and Cultural Diversity 2b. Justifying Democracy. 3a. Democracy as Participation. 3b. New Participatory Practices in Democracy. 4a. Deliberative Democracy. 4b. Deliberation in Political Systems. 5a. The Principle Majority Rule. 5b. Majoritarianism: For and Against. 6a. Ideas of Representation 6b. Comparing Institutions of Representation.

Course validation

- 1 country evaluation (1500 words excluding references) - (10%) ; - 1 mid-term paper (2000 words maximum excluding references) – (40%) ; - 1 final exam (2 hours) - (50%).

Required reading

  • Schmitter, Philippe C. and Terry Lynn Karl (1991) What Democracy Is … and Is Not, Journal of Democracy, 2: 3,
  • Weale, Albert (2007) Democracy (London: Macmillan, second edition), Chapter

Additional required reading

  • Schmitter, Philippe C. and Terry Lynn Karl (1991) ‘What Democracy Is … and Is Not', Journal of Democracy, 2: 3, pp. 75-88.