Schedule

A NOTE ON READINGS

There are four “required” books for this course:

  1. Chinua Achebe (1966), A Man of the People (Anchor Books)
  2. Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter (1986), Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies (The Johns Hopkins University Press)
  3. Bruce Gilley (2004), China’s Democratic Future: How it Will Happen and Where it Will Lead (Columbia University Press)
  4. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alistair Smith (2011), The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics (PublicAffairs)

Note that when I say 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 do anything else necessary to make sure you have the texts to read and study from.

Prologue: Nigeria – Understanding Why Democracy is Hard

January 4 (W): Introductions and Syllabus (No Reading)

January 9 (M): Nigeria’s Failed Democratic Past

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

January 11 (W): Democratic History and Definitions

January 16 (M): No Class, MLK Day

January 18 (W): Are there Democratic “Preconditions?” (I)—Modernization and Economic Arguments (Everyone Posts on Wednesday)

January 23 (M): Is There Such a Thing as a “Democratic Culture?”

January 25 (W) : Protestantism and the Weberian Tradition

January 30 (M):  Islam and Democracy, Theory and Practice

Case Study #1: American Democratization in the 18th and 19th Centuries—Democratization as a Slow, Uneven Process

February 1 (W): The Long Path to American Democracy (I)— Defining Democracy in the Post-Revolutionary Era

February 6 (M): The Long Path to American Democracy (II)—Antebellum Constitutional Crises and Compromises

February 8 (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

February 13 (M): Logic of Authoritarian Rule (I): Fraud and Electoral Malfeasance: How To Rig an Election, American-Style

February 15 (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)

February 20 (M): Peer Review Workshop

  • no assigned readings

Course Concept #4: How Democratization Happens: The Transition Paradigm (and the Arab Spring)

February 22 (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!)

February 27 (M): The Transition Paradigm and the Arab Spring (I)

February 29 (W): The Transition Paradigm and the Arab Spring (II)

Case Study #2: China’s Democratic Future?

March 5 (M): China’s Halting Path to Democracy? (I)

  • Bruce Gilley (2004), China’s Democratic Future: How it Will Happen and Where it Will Lead, pp. 3-136

March 7 (W): China’s Halting Path to Democracy? (II)

  • Bruce Gilley (2004), China’s Democratic Future: How it Will Happen and Where it Will Lead, pp. 137-251

Epilogue

March 15 (R): Papers Due by 5 PM