Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Democratization Syllabus

Fall Semester 2007
J. Otto Pohl, Ph.D.

Course Description: This course will cover the process of democratization in an historical and comparative manner. It will start by examining the history and social origins of democratic rule. After reviewing the general history and theory of democracy the course will cover the transition from authoritarian to more representative political systems in various countries during the last couple of decades. In particular the course will deal with the process of democratization in Eurasia and the Middle East. The course will analyze both those factors which facilitate greater democratization and those which impede it.

Requirements: The course will consist of assigned readings, lectures, discussion, short writing assignments, an oral report and a research paper. For each of the twelve weeks with reading assignments, students will be required to submit a 150 to 200 word summary of the material along with one question for class discussion. Students will also have to complete a 2500 to 3000 word research paper comparing and contrasting the process of democratization in two different countries. The paper is due the last week of class. In the two weeks prior to this deadline each student will be required to give a short oral presentation on the subject of their paper followed by a short question and answer session.

Plagiarism Policy: Plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment for the first offense. A second offense will result in a grade of F for the course. Please be sure to cite your sources.


Twelve short papers – 36% (3% each)
Written research paper – 20% (Due last week of class)
Oral report on research – 10%
Class participation – 34%

Class Schedule:

Week One: Introduction to the course and review of the syllabus.

General History and Theory of Democracy

Week Two: Read “Where and How Did Democracy Develop?: A Brief History” (chapter one) in Robert A. Dahl, On Democracy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 7-25.

Week Three: Read “The Twisted Path” (chapter two) in Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (NY: W.W. Norton, 2003), pp. 59-87.

Week Four: Read “Democracy and Social Classes” (chapter one) in Tom Bottomore, Political Sociology (London: Pluto Press, 1993), pp. 12-27.

Week Five: Read “The Democratic Route to Modern Society” (chapter seven) in Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1966), 413-432.

Week Six: Read “Globalization and Ethnic Hatred” (introduction) in Amy Chua, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (NY: Doubleday, 2003), pp. 1-17.

Week Seven: Review


Week Eight: Read “Unintended Consequences: Economic Crisis and Social Awakening” (chapter four) in Robert Strayer, Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse?: Understanding Historical Change (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1998), pp. 132-171.

Week Nine: Read “Strategies for Ethnic Accord in Post-Soviet States” (chapter thirteen) in Valery Tishkov, Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in and after the Soviet Union (London: Sage, 1997), pp. 272-293.

Week Ten: Read “Epilogue: Memory” in Anne Applebaum, Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps (London: Allen Lane, 2003), pp. 505-514 and Conclusion of Lynne Viola, Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements (NY: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 183-193.

The Middle East

Week Eleven: Read Marina Ottaway “The Missing Constituency for Democratic Reform” (chapter eight) in Thomas Carothers and Marina Ottaway, eds., Uncharted Journey: Promoting Democracy in the Middle East (Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), pp. 151-169.

Week Twelve: Read “Democracy and Authoritarianism: Turkey and Iran” (chapter fourteen) in William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000), pp. 267-292.

Week Thirteen: Read “The Third Republic: Turkey since 1980” (chapter fifteen) in Erik J. Zurcher, Turkey: A Modern History (London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., 1997), pp. 292-342.

Week Fourteen: Read “Iran: Revolutionary Islam in Power” (chapter three) in John L. Esposito and John O. Voll, Islam and Democracy (NY: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 52-77.

Student Research

Week Fifteen: Student oral presentations.

Week Sixteen: Student oral presentations continued.

Week Seventeen: Written version of the research paper due and concluding remarks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a really interesting class, particularly the readings on Turkey. The Tishkov book is great as well. I read bits of that when I was working on my thesis last year.