Comparative Democratic Development Part II: Structuring Democracy

The first part of this course explored the definition and elements of liberal democracy and the social, economic, and cultural conditions for sustaining. It also looked at the dynamics of democracy, taking a more actor-centered approach to examine the drivers of democratic transitions and breakdowns. This second and final part of the course takes a more political approach, asking two questions. First, how do the institutions of liberal democracy vary in design, and what institutional choices seem to offer the best prospects for sustaining liberal democracy? What tensions and tradeoffs must be navigated in designing or reforming democratic institutions? Second, is it possible for external actors to assist in the development and defense of democracy? What types of international policies and practices have been most successful in supporting democracy from abroad, and how can democracy be promoted more effectively?

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