Schedule

A Note on Readings

There are five “required” books for this course:

Please note that when I say that there are “required” texts, I mean only that I have assigned you to read them (most in their entirety, a few will have a chapter or two skipped), not that you must purchase them. You are encouraged to share copies, form anarcho-syndicalist book-trading collectives, make gratuitous use of our inter-library loan services, or generally do whatever necessary to make sure you have the texts to read and study from.

Prologue

January 14 (M): Introductions and Syllabus (No Reading)

Case Study #1: Nigeria – Understanding Why Democracy is Hard

January 16 (W): Why Does Democracy fail Sometimes? (I): Nigeria’s Failed Democratic Past

  • Chinua Achebe (1966), A Man of the People, complete

January 21 (M): No Class, MLK Day

January 23 (W): Why Does Democracy Fail Sometimes? (II): The Collapse of Democracy in Post-Independence Africa

Course Concept #1: Defining Democracy (in Theory and Practice)

January 28 (M): How Do We Know Democracy When We See It?

January 30 (W): What’s a Democracy That’s not a Democracy?

February 4 (M): Measuring Democracy

February 6 (W): Constructing a Democratic Index Exercise (In-class)

Course Concept #2: Where Does Democracy Come From?

February 11 (M): Are there Democratic “Preconditions?”: Modernization and Economic Arguments

February 13 (W): Is There Such a Thing as a “Democratic Culture?”

February 18 (M): Islam and Democracy, Theory and Practice

February 20 (W): Structure and Agency on the Road to Democracy

February 25 (M): In-Class Presentations, Democratic Index and Scores (No Reading)

Case Study #2: American Democratization in the 18th and 19th Centuries—Democratization as a Slow, Uneven Process

February 27 (W): The Long Path to American Democracy (I)— Defining Democracy in the Post-Revolutionary Era

March 4 (M): Spring Break (No Class)

March 6 (W): Spring Break (No Class)

March 11 (M): The Long Path to American Democracy (II)—Antebellum Constitutional Crises and Compromises

March 13 (W): : The Long Path to American Democracy (III)—The Expansion and Contraction of Voting Rights

Course Concept #3: How The Other Half Lives: Authoritarian Rule

March 18 (M): Logic of Authoritarian Rule (I): Fraud and Electoral Malfeasance, or How To Rig an Election

March 20 (W): Logic of Authoritarian Rule (II) : Bad Policy and Good Politics

  • Bueno de Mesquita and Smith (2011), The Dictator’s Handbook, entire (skip chapter 7 on foreign aid and chapter 9 on war)

March 25 (M):Peer Review Workshop (No Reading)

Course Concept #4: How Democratization Happens: The Transition Paradigm (with Special Reference to the “Arab Spring”)

March 27 (W): The “Transition” Paradigm

  • Guillermo O’Donnell and Phillippe Schmitter, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Transitions, entire book (Don’t worry, only about 70 pages!)

April 1 (M): Clarifying Schmitter and O’Donnell – Revolutionary Dynamics

April 3 (W): The Transition Paradigm and the Arab Spring (I)

  • Marc Lynch (2012), The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, pp. 1-130

April 8 (M):  The Transition Paradigm and the Arab Spring (II)

April 10 (W):  The Transition Paradigm and the Arab Spring (III)

  • Marc Lynch (2012), The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, pp. 131-236

Case Study #3: China’s Democratic Future?

April 15 (M): China’s Halting Path to Democracy?

  •  Kerry Brown (2011), Ballot Box China: Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One-Party State, pp. 1-56

April 17 (W): “Chinese Democracy” at the Grassroots

  •  Kerry Brown (2011), Ballot Box China: Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One-Party State, pp. 57-end
  • In-Class: Video, “Please Vote For Me”

April 22 (M): Pressuring China to Democratize

Epilogue

April 24 (W): Conclusions