GV4E1      Half Unit
Comparative Democratization in a Global Age

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr. Bill Kissane


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Conflict Studies and MSc in Global Politics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 2 groups. The deadline for enrolments will be 12 noon, Monday 3 October 2016. You will be informed of a decision by 12 noon, Wednesday 5 October 2016.

Course content

To introduce students to the fundamental political science debates about the phenomenon of democratization, to explore the explanatory strength of key paradigms, and to compare distinct modes of democratization. Specific topics are: Definitions of democratization and democratic consolidation; capitalist development and democratization, civil society, elite transitions and international interventions, post-communist transitions, post-civil war democracy, democratic revolutions, constitutional moments and hybrid regimes.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the MT for private study and assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to submit two non-assessed essays.

Indicative reading

D Potter et al, Democratization, J. Grugel, Democratization, Rueschmeyer, Stephens and Stephens, Capitalist Development and Democracy; J Linz and A S Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.1
Merit 65.8
Pass 15.8
Fail 1.3

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2015/16: 24

Average class size 2015/16: 12

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication