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POS 351 DEMOCRATIZATION Syllabus Fall 2009

POS 351 DEMOCRATIZATION Syllabus Fall 2009 -...

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ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY           School of Politics and Global Studies POS 351: Democratization                 Professor   Okey  Iheduru Languages & Literature Bldg. Room 2 Fall 2009 SLN: 85322         Class meets on Tue., Thur., 10:30-11:45  a.m. Office Hours (a) Instructor: 6714 Coor Building Tuesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m.; Thursday, 9:30-10:15 a.m.;  or by appointment. Telephone:  480-965-1303 Fax:  480-965-3929 e-mail:  [email protected] (b) Graduate Teaching Associate (TA): Alex Arifianto Office: COOR Building, Room 6779 Consultation Hours: TBA; and by appointment Telephone:  480-965-6551 (office) e-mail:  [email protected] Course Description and Objectives There has been an exponential growth in the literature on democratization of  political regimes over the past two decades. Students of political science have  rightly   focused   attention   on   this   topic   because   they   have   had   to   inevitably  respond   to   often   unanticipated   real-world   events   and   challenges:   since   the  1970s, the number of democratic regimes in the world has more than doubled, to  total over 140 today (depending on whose definition of “democratic” we use).  Many scholarly and popular journalistic commentaries now take for granted the  idea that a remarkable “wave of democratization” has swept the world, and that  we also may have reached a “democratization stand-still” and/or “recession”  since the early 2000.  1
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While a great deal of disagreement persists among scholars concerning the best  way to define democracy, most people, at a minimum, expect democracy to  enable citizens to have some choice over who rules them and some control over  the   actions   of  their   rulers.  The   alternative   to   this   governing   arrangement   is  generally not desirable, and some might say “evil.” Interestingly, we still possess  inadequate knowledge of the dynamics causing the onset of democracy and  different regime outcomes. If democracy has the capacity to deliver us from evil,  and to improve the quality of our individual and collective lives, students of  political science are interested in exploring the following questions: How can  democracy   be   brought   into   being—whether   through   impersonal   forces   or  deliberate human effort? How can it be preserved? How might it be improved to  suit the circumstances of a particular time or place? And, how might democracy  be destroyed if we are not careful with it? It is also worth our time to ask whether  there are universal “rules” and how we can detect, such as the alleged correlation 
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POS 351 DEMOCRATIZATION Syllabus Fall 2009 -...

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