Approved by Faculty Senate.


University Studies Flagged Course Proposal

1. Department or Program Political Science and Public Administration

2. Course Number PS 475

3. Semester Hours 3

4. Frequency of Offering Once in two years

5. Course Title Democratization and Its Challenges

6. Catalog Description

The emphasis of this course is on the wave of democratization that is sweeping the world and the challenges that new democracies face in consolidating themselves. This course covers the theory of democracy and the institutional, cultural and socio-economic challenges that countries face as they seek to make the transition from dictatorship to democracy.

7. This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2 Yes

8. This is a new course proposal No

9. University Studies Requirement this course would satisfy Writing Flag

10. Department Contact Person for this course Yogesh Grover

11. General Course Outcomes

The purpose of this course is to enable students to understand the obstacles to democracy in different parts of the world. Countries may introduce democratic institutions, which might be either set aside, or allowed to decay, by authoritarian forces. This course will assist students in coming to grips with the phenomenon of democratization, e.g. the factors that either hinder or facilitate the process of democracy striking roots in developing societies.

12. Course Outcomes

    1. Practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields
    2. The entire grade in this course will be based on an evaluation of written work. Students will be assigned chapters from textbooks or articles from journals and asked to submit five-page summaries of their readings and present them in class. They will be required to carefully read and spell check their material before submitting. Sloppily written assignments, and those which do not accurately summarize the readings will be returned for resubmission.

      In addition to this, all students will be asked to write a paper on the challenges of democratization in a country of their choice. The paper will have to be between 10-15 pages and must focus on a country not covered in class. It must examine whether or not factors that facilitate or obstruct successful democratization are absent or present in the country that is being studied.

      On an average each student will do at least two summaries and one term paper.

    3. Understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields

      Students will be asked to look carefully at the assigned readings
      and see how the authors marshal arguments as they assess the
      prospects of successful democratization. They will be asked to look
      for data that points in the direction of, or against, democratization.
      The expectation from the students will be that they look at general
      patterns that have been observed by political scientists and explore
      if these patterns hold in the country they will be researching.


    5. Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields
    6. The general expectation of readers in political science is to prefer
      writings that are not just descriptive but one that contributes to
      theory building. Hence analytical writings that explain a
      phenomenon, or those that seek to marshal data in support of, or in
      opposition to, hypotheses are preferred. Students will be made
      aware of this expectation and asked to write in accordance with this

    7. Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields;.
    8. The technologies used in research and writing have been changing. Books and journals are used quite widely, but there is growing reliance on the Internet. Students will be asked to limit the number of citations they can have from the Internet, and to provide evidence of having read a certain number of journal articles or books.

    9. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and

documentation in their fields

Students will be asked to write their term paper using the format used in journal articles or book chapters that they will be consulting. They will be required to uniformly employ a format about citations, referencing, documentation, and bibliography preparation. This format may be one they learnt to use in English composition classes, or one that is generally used in the discipline of political science. They will be made aware of the format that is commonly used in the discipline.












Office Hours MWF 11:00-1:00

TR 12:30-1:30


Required texts: Georg Sorensen, Democracy and Democratization (Boulder,

CO: Westview Press, 1998).

Lisa Anderson (ed.), Transitions to Democracy (New York:

Columbia University Press, 1999).

Introduction: This course is about the process of democratization. Many countries in the world aspire to be democratic. But the process of democratization can be long and full of challenges, which can overwhelm the transition to democracy and lead to political failure. In this course we will discuss the conditions that favor the successful transition to democracy, and those that hinder it. Democracy as a system of government appears to be consistent with the aspirations of most people in the world and most governments too pretend to be democratic when in fact they may not be. In view of the worldwide movement toward democracies, it is a legitimate exercise for students of political science to try to study this phenomenon and examine the prospects its success.

This is a seminar course and that means that there will be no formal lectures given in class by the instructor. Readings will be assigned to you and you will be expected to make brief presentations in class about those readings. The presentations will be followed by discussions. Thus class participation will be heavily emphasized. Class participation includes physical attendance and involvement in class discussions. Extra credit will be given to those who do voluntary additional readings on their own and incorporate them into class discussions.

Writing Flag:


This course meets the Writing Flag requirement of the University Studies Program. As such it includes requirements and learning activities that promote students’ abilities to:

  1. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields;
  2. understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields;
  3. adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields;
  4. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields; and
  5. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields

Evaluation and grades

There will be no formal examinations administered in this course. Your performance will be assessed on the basis of the following:

Class presentations

Written assignments

One term paper

You will be expected to submit one five-page paper on the last Friday of January, February, and March. Each paper must be typed using standard spacing for margins. The topic for each paper will be discussed in class before you submit a written assignment. Each paper will be worth 50 points.

In addition you will be required to write a research term paper on the process of democratization in the country of your choice. Please have the country approved before you begin work on your paper. The preliminary draft of your paper will be due on April 20. Final drafts of the paper will be due on the day of the examination in May and should be written after incorporating the changes that I will suggest. The term paper will be worth 100 points. Nearly 80% of the course grade will be determined by your performance in written assignments.

During the last two weeks of the term, you will be expected to present your research in class according to a schedule that I will prepare with your consent.

Your grade will be based on the following scheme of points:

Class presentations 50 points

Monthly papers 150 points

Term paper 100 points

Maximum 300 points

Letter grades will be assigned on the basis of the following scale:

A 90% and above 270-300 points

B 80%-89.9% 240-270 points

C 70%-79.9% 210-239 points

D 60%-69.9% 180-209 points

I hope you have an enjoyable experience in this class. Please feel free to stop by my office or send an e-mail if you have any questions or concerns, or if you need any assistance.

List of topics and assignments

  1. What is Democracy?
  2. Process of Democratization
  3. Domestic Consequences of Democracy
  4. Growth and Welfare?

  5. International Consequences of Democracy
  6. Peace and Cooperation?

  7. Future of Democracy
  8. Bureaucracy and Democratic Consolidation
  9. Lessons from Eastern Europe

  10. South American and Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective
  11. Explaining India’s Transition to Democracy
  12. Democratization in Africa after 1989
  13. Conclusion


Assignments and Writing Outcomes

January: Write a paper (8-10 pages) discussing the debate about the effects of democracy on economic growth and welfare. (Address writing outcomes b & c) [50 Points]

February: Write a paper (8-10 pages) discussing the factors that favor and hinder successful democratic consolidation in Eastern Europe. Draw from the textbook and assigned readings.

(Address writing outcomes b, c, & d) [50 points]

March: Write a paper (8-10 pages) discussing the prospects of democratic consolidation in Africa since 1989. Draw from textbook and assigned readings. (Address writing outcomes b, c, & d) [50 points]

April/May: Write a term paper on a country of your choice, but not discussed in your textbook, assessing the prospects of democratic consolidation. The paper must support a hypothesis stated in the first paragraph of your term paper. (Address writing outcomes a, b, c, d & e) [100 points]