OSS9105 – Democratization and Autocratization in a Comparative Perspective
The predominant discourse today says that democracy is in crisis. But the world is much more democratic than 200 years ago, and there is obviously much variation in how rulers get access to political power and how they use it. A better understanding of these differences is arguably one of the most interesting and important topics for social scientists. Against this backdrop, this course explores the who, what, when, where, and why of political regimes based on an explicit comparative perspective. It provides an advanced introduction to different ways of conceptualizing and measuring political regimes. Moreover, the course offers an overview of variations in democracy and autocracy across time and countries and a discussion of the potential determinants of this variation. Finally, the course explores the consequences of different regime types for human desires and miseries, such as economic growth, human development, state repression, and conflict. During the week, the participants will get the chance to discuss how these issues relate to their own projects.
After completing the course the students will:
- Be familiar with key conceptual distinctions, empirical measures, and trends related to political regime types and their changes
- Be familiar with key theories about the causes and consequences of political regimes
- Be able to identify and critically evaluate theoretical arguments and empirical strategies of comparative assessment used in this research field
- Be able to articulate and pursue novel research questions related to these issues