DPI-703: Understanding Democracy Through History

Semester: Spring

Credit: 4.0

Faculty: Alex Keyssar


Day Time Location
Term Start Date 1/23
Meet Day T/Th 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Belfer L1 Weil Town Hall(HKS)


An historical course that will examine the evolution of democracies in different nations over extended periods of time. Beginning with the Greeks, yet focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries, the course will concentrate on one fundamental issue: Under what circumstances or conditions have democracies (or political rights) expanded, and under what circumstances or conditions have they contracted? The histories of the United States and Western Europe will be examined; other case studies will be drawn from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and will vary from year to year. Participants in the course will be encouraged to work in depth on issues or nations of their own choosing. Readings will include historical studies as well as comparative theoretical works.

This course meets the requirement for the MPA/ID democratization/governance course. Also offered by the History Department as Hist 1390.

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