Variable Tpcs:


What is democracy? Is it electing political representatives every few years, taking to the streets in collective protest, or is it something entirely different? Indeed, what does ‘rule of the people’ actually mean in terms of the distribution of power, wealth, and freedom across society? In this course, we’ll take a journey through various democratic ideals and democratic systems in contemporary times, and we’ll do so from a global and comparative perspective in order to unravel the relationships between democracies and despotisms. Students not only interrogate why people struggle for democracy against despotic rule, and why they then ‘succeed’ or ‘fail’ in creating institutional change, but also how undemocratic, unfree, and unequal realities can thrive within and challenge democracies. Our inquiry into such questions is informed by how revolutions have helped create these political ideals and practices and what they say about social inequalities. To do so, we’ll examine case studies and cross-national comparisons. While we’ll study cases from Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, we center the 2011 Arab Spring and renewed popular mobilization in the Middle East/North Africa as well as critical junctures in the U.S., from the Civil Rights Movement to current struggles unfolding across the country.

Offered every year. 4 points.






Spring 2020

Tyson Patros
MW: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM 20CS 4CONF