My views on Democracy have absolutely changed since taking this course. It wasn’t really a thing I thought about critically beforehand. I just assumed it was an overall positive system of governance and that it will inevitably be adopted by any educated and prosperous country. That is obviously not the case, its amorphous, ambiguous, and riddled with nuance. This class was very dense and pretty difficult but I learned more from it than my other classes especially in an analytical and critical thinking capacity.
The most insightful takeaway I have is a better ability to define the parameters of the democratic/authoritative spectrum. I am more readily able to understand moves in the contemporary political landscape that are reflective of an autocrat (such as the elimination of legislature in Venezuela) or moves that further democracy (which unfortunately has not been a trend in 2017). I am very happy I took this course and i think the insights I have gained have outweighed the stress the course load gave me. Global democracy is seemingly under threat by the rise of far-right populism, most of the countries undergoing this trend already have an established democracy. If the people want to save democracy then they have to get off teh couch and use it.