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 2020-2021

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Well before the Covid pandemic, observers and scholars warned of a “crisis” of democracy. This course explores the various dimensions of liberal representative regimes' contemporary malaise, and provides students with tools to analyse the ongoing transformation of democratic institutions and political participation. It considers changes that have affected politics in recent years and the ways in which publics relate to the political – from casting a ballot to changing lifestyles, participating online and offline, occupying and protesting in public space, interacting with and challenging politicians or bureaucrats – and it reflects on the constraints that are thus placed on decision-makers. We draw on political science, sociology, and anthropology to analyse policy-making as well as collective identities and feelings of belonging, political sense-making, 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? Although the instructors specialise in the contemporary politics of Western Europe, the course is to reflect a wider variety of contexts and experiences. Students with other geographical backgrounds are hence encouraged to enrol and contribute their own expertise and experience.


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

Pedagogical format

This class is a CIVICA « joint » course lead by Florence Faucher in Sciences Po in Paris and by Christian Freudelsperger in Hertie School in Berlin. The syllabi are identical. The objective is to allow maximum overlap and collaboration between students and professors although the two classes are designed to be also run in parallelle. Each week will involve a pre-recorded “capsules of lecturing”, to be watched before the live sessions. During the weekly online meeting, there will be a group presentation followed by a short discussion; a combination of lecturing, discussion of the readings and questions.

Course validation

30% Teams of students will be formed for presentations. These teams will include students from both schools who will thus work together on preparing for the presentation. If the conditions are met, the presentations can be given during a joint online meeting but can also be delivered in person in both locations. Weekly log 30% Students are asked to keep a diary or log of their readings and reflections Final essay due in week 11 40% There is a choice of questions in the syllabus and the essay can be handed in at any point during the semester. Students will be encouraged to provide feedback to each other on early drafts.


Compusolry readings for each session: usually 2 articles (about 40 pages); and writing a very short weekly log; group work and presentation; final essay. Participation is encouraged and “in class” exercises will be set.

Required reading

A list of detailed readings will be given to you on the first sessioAmartya Sen “Democracy and its Global Roots. Why Democratization is not the same as Westernization”, The New Republic, 6 October 2003, pp. 28-35.

Additional required reading

  • Yvette Peters (2018), “Democratic representation and political inequality: how social differences translate into differential representation” French Politics 16:341–357.
  • Kelly Levin, Benjamin Cashore, Steven Bernstein, Graeme Auld, “Overcoming the tragedy of super wicked problems: constraining our future selves to ameliorate global climate change”, Policy Sciences, 2012, 45:123–152, doi: 10.1007/s11077-012-9151-0