It is often assumed that once a country achieves a certain level of economic and political development, democratic consolidation is permanent. Recent trends in American and European politics have led some commentators to question this assumption. In this course, students will explore the causes and consequences of democratic erosion in a comparative and historical perspective, with a focus on better understanding our own unique political moment. This course is not intended as a partisan critique of any particular American politician or political party. Rather, it is designed to provide an opportunity for students to engage, critically and carefully the state of democracy in the US and elsewhere; to evaluate whether those claims are valid; and, if they are, to consider strategies for mitigating the risk of democratic erosion here and abroad. Readings will address both empirical and normative questions and will be gleaned from a combination of academic and media sources.
Please visit the Office of the Registrar for more information about this course.