Accueil > Gouvernance, démocratie et politiques publiques : l'avenir de la démocratie

KAFP 4105 - Governance, democracy and Public Policy : democracy in crises

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2019-2020

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course reflects on how liberal representative regimes are facing crises that challenge their foundations, their legitimacy and their institutions. It aims to provide students with the tools to analyse the transformations of contemporary democratic institutions and forms of political participation. We will consider changes that have affected politics in recent years and the ways in which Western European publics relate to things political from casting a ballot to changing lifestyles, participating online and offline, occupying public space, challenging and interacting with politicians or with local bureaucrats). We will draw from political science, sociology and anthropology in order to analyse collective identities and feelings of belonging, political mobilisation and institutions, environmental crises and migrations, new information and communication technologies. How do contemporary citizens understand their role in their polity and act accordingly? How do they relate to their communities, think and act politically? We will consider how political institutions orient individuals' behaviours and contribute to give meaning to the world and their lives within it. This module aims to provide an advanced level of understanding of how the political has changed in recent decades and how it challenges liberal representative governments. We will analyse some of the “crises” faced by democratic governments in relation to the disjunction between peoples and their elites, how the former express themselves and participate in politics but also how elites respond to these demands. During this course students will learn to display an understanding of issues related to the crises of representative democracies, demonstrate an understanding of key contemporary debates about the analysis of political systems and core concepts for a critical analysis of political events, display an understanding of influential and innovative works relating to democracy, forms of democratic participation and public policy, appreciating their strengths and weaknesses, demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, including the ability to present reasoned and effective arguments in written and oral form, to pursue independent learning and to show critical judgement.


  • BLOJ, Ramona (Responsable des études)
  • FAUCHER, Florence (Research director CEE, Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

Students are expected to be physically and intellectually present at each class. As a consequence, we ask you not to use computers, tablets, smartphones and other electronic equipment during class. They damage concentration and the ability of people around to focus on the seminar discussion.

Course validation

Mid-term essay 30% - Group assignment 50% - Presentation (individual) grade 20%. Midterm essay : Article review. Chose one article from the list of references on the syllabus OR you can select your own, provided that you pick one on a related topic, from a political science/social science peer-reviewed journal, and that you check with me. Essays should not be longer than 2000 words and are due on week 5. Provide a PRINTED version. Mention the number of words at the end of the review. Group assignment : Groups will develop an analysis of the case, based on the literature considered during the course and beyond. Submit a bibliography and 1 page outline by week 9. Submit written cases will be handed in week 11. Presentations in week 11 and 12. Case presentations should last a maximum of 15 minutes followed by 15 minutes of discussion. They will take place in week 11 and 12. Written cases are about 4000 words. Bibliography: 20 peer-reviewed references or academic press books and an unlimited number of other sources. Please use the Harvard referencing system with in text citation and bibliography (see for the written document. Students will receive a group grade for the written submission and an individual grade for the presentation.


Each session has a list of readings. Students need to be prepared to contribute to every session. Participation is assessed in quality (rather than on quantity), so coming prepared to each session will help you engage with the material discussed in class. Required readings are set for each session. Students should read the references indicated for each session so that they can be prepared for each topic as well as contribute to discussions.

Required reading

A list of detailed readings will be given to you on the first session.