GV4E1      Half Unit
Comparative Democratization in a Global Age

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr. Bill Kissane


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

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

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 13
Merit 68.8
Pass 18.2
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2014/15: 30

Average class size 2014/15: 15

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication