What constitutes democracy and autocracy? How do they operate in a real-world politics?
Is one regime type better than the other? Under what conditions does autocracy
transition to democracy or vice versa? In this course, we explore diverse issues of democracy
and autocracy in a comparative perspective. Specifically, this course seeks for four
(1) To study the concepts, subtypes, and measurements of democracy and autocracy as a
theoretical and empirical foundation.
(2) To examine how democracy and autocracy work in reality by understanding their core
principles and institutional characteristics.
(3) To discuss several theoretical arguments regarding the effects of democracy and autocracy
on economic development, governance, and international relations.
(4) To look at the dynamics of regime transition by learning various determinants of
democratization and the recent debates on democratic backsliding around the globe.
This course is designed for undergraduate students who are studying comparative politics
and political institutions. The approach this course takes is both theoretical and empirical,
and qualitative and quantitative works are equally covered. No prior knowledge is required,
but the basic understanding of empirical analysis will be helpful to understand the materials.
The class starts on May 4th (Friday) and ends on July 20th (Friday) (12 weeks). Since the course is based on 14 weeks, we will have two more sessions, which can be do ne either (a) by meeting twice (Friday and the other day) in particular weeks or (b) by combining two weeks in one week with longer times (for 3.5 hours). The instructor will discuss this matter with students as the semester Begins.
The current course plan includes 13-week plan with one week extra. If we complete all materials on time (within 13 weeks), the instructor will oﬀer the topic and reading materials for Week 14.
Week 1: Defining Democracy and Autocracy
Schmitter, Philippe C., and Terry Lynn Karl. 1991. “What Democracy is... and is not.”
Journal of Democracy 2.3: 75-88.
Collier, David, and Steven Levitsky. 1997. “Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research.” World Politics 49.3: 430-451.
Cheibub, José Antonio, Jennifer Gandhi, and James Raymond Vreeland. 2010. “Democ- racy and Dictatorship Revisited.” Public Choice 143.1-2: 67-101.
Zakaria, Fareed. 1997. “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy.” Foreign Aﬀairs Novem- ber/December: 22-43.
Levitsky, Steven, and Lucan A. Way. 2010. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. Cambridge University Press. 3-23.
Week 2: Classifying Democracy and Autocracy
Coppedge, Michael, et al. 2011. “Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: A New Approach.” Perspectives on Politics 9.2: 247-267.
Geddes, Barbara. 1999. “What do we Know about Democratization after Twenty Years?”
Annual Review of Political Science 2: 115-144
Svolik, Milan W. 2012. The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. Cambridge University Press. 19-50.
Week 3: Measuring Democracy and Autocracy: Indicators and Datasets
Freedom House (https://freedomhouse.org/)
Polity IV (http://www.systemicpeace.org/polity/polity4.htm) Varieties of Democracy (https://www.v-dem.net/en/)
Geddes, Barbara, Joseph Wright, and Erica Frantz. 2014. “Autocratic Breakdown and Regime Transitions: A New Data Set.” Perspectives on Politics 12.2: 313-331. (Dataset is available at: http://sites.psu.edu/dictators/)
** Short assignment 1
Week 4: Theories of Democratization I: Economic Origins, Bottom-up View
Olson, Mancur. 1993. “Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development.” American Political Science Review 87.3: 567-576.
Przeworski, Adam, and Fernando Limongi. 1997. “Modernization: Theories and Facts.”World Politics 49.2: 155-183.
Boix, Carles, and Susan C. Stokes. 2003. “Endogenous Democratization.” World Politics 55.4: 517-549.
Acemoglu, Daron, and James A. Robinson. 2005. Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Cambridge University Press. 15-47.
Ansell, Ben, and David Samuels. 2010. “Inequality and Democratization: A Contrac- tarian Approach.” Comparative Political Studies 43.12: 1543-1574.
Week 5: Theories of Democratization II: Political Origins, Top-down View
Mainwaring, Scott, and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán. 2013. Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall. Cambridge University Press. 29-62.
Haggard, Stephan, and Robert R. Kaufman. 2016. Dictators and Democrats: Masses, Elites, and Regime Change. Princeton University Press. 142-172.
Albertus, Michael, and Victor Menaldo. 2018. Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy. Cambridge University Press. 25-62 (required), 99-140 (optional). (also see their article in Washington Post: https://tinyurl.com/y9lh3ade)
Week 6: Elections, Representation, and Accountability
Przeworski, Adam, Susan C. Stokes, and Bernard Manin. (eds.) 1999. Democracy, Accountability, and Representation. Cambridge University Press. 1-84.
Gandhi, Jennifer, and Ellen Lust-Okar. 2009. “Elections under Authoritarianism.” An- nual Review of Political Science 12: 403-422.
Week 7: Rule of Law and Judicial Independence
Weingast, Barry R. 1997. “The Political Foundations of Democracy and the Rule of the Law.” American Political Science Review 91.2: 245-263.
Helmke, Gretchen, and Frances Rosenbluth. 2009. “Regimes and the Rule of Law: Judi- cial Independence in Comparative Perspective.” Annual Review of Political Science 12: 345-366.
Ginsburg, Tom, and Tamir Moustafa. (eds.) 2008. Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes. Cambridge University Press. 1-24.
Gibler, Douglas M., and Kirk A. Randazzo. 2011. “Testing the Eﬀects of Indepen- dent Judiciaries on the Likelihood of Democratic Backsliding.” American Jour- nal of Political Science 55.3: 696-709. (also see their article in Washington Post: https://tinyurl.com/yc4w2jg2)
Week 8: The Politics of Authoritarian Regimes
Svolik, Milan W., 2012. The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. Cambridge University Press.1-18.
Magaloni, Beatriz. 2008. “Credible Power-Sharing and the Longevity of Authoritarian Rule.” Comparative Political Studies 41.4: 715-741.
King, Gary, Jennifer Pan and Margaret Roberts. 2013. “How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression.” American Political Science Review 107.2: 326-343.
Week 9: Authoritarian Institutions
Brancati, Dawn. 2014. “Democratic Authoritarianism: Origins and Eﬀects.” Annual Review of Political Science 17: 313-326.
Gandhi, Jennifer, and Adam Przeworski. 2007. “Authoritarian Institutions and the Survival of Autocrats.” Comparative Political Studies 40.1: 1279-1301.
Magaloni, Beatriz, and Ruth Kricheli. 2010. “Political Order and One-Party Rule.”
Annual Review of Political Science 13: 123-143.
Week 10: Economic Development: Is Democracy Richer than Autocracy?
North, Douglass C., and Barry R. Weingast. 1989. “Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century Eng- land.” The Journal of Economic History 49.4: 803-832.
Jensen, Nathan M. 2003. “Democratic Governance and Multinational Corporations: Po- litical Regimes and Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment.” International Organization 57.3: 587-616.
Voigt, Stefan, Jerg Gutmann, and Lars P. Feld. 2015. “Economic Growth and Judicial Independence, a Dozen Years on: Cross-Country Evidence Using an Updated Set of Indicators.” European Journal of Political Economy 38: 197-211.
** Short assignment 2
Week 11: Governance: Is Democracy Governing Better than Autocracy?
Fisman, Raymond, and Miriam A. Golden. 2017. Corruption: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press: 173-201.
Hollyer, James R., B. Peter Rosendorﬀ, and James Raymond Vreeland. 2011. “Democ- racy and Transparency.” The Journal of Politics 73.4: 1191-1205.
Ross, Michael. 2006. “Is Democracy Good for the Poor?” American Journal of Political Science 50.4: 860-874.
Week 12: War and Peace: Is Democracy Less Violent than Autocracy?
Doyle, Michael W. 1983. “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Aﬀairs.” Philosophy & Public Aﬀairs 12.3: 205-235.
Rosato, Sebastian. 2003. “The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory.” American Political Science Review 97.4: 585-602.
Hegre, Håvard, et al. 2001. “Toward a Democratic Civil Peace? Democracy, Political Change, and Civil War, 1816-1992.” American Political Science Review 95.1: 33-48.
Wilson, Matthew C., and James A. Piazza. 2013. “Autocracies and Terrorism: Con- ditioning Eﬀects of Authoritarian Regime Type on Terrorist Attacks.” American Journal of Political Science 57.4: 941-955.
Week 13: Debates on Democratic Backsliding
Deudney, Daniel, and G. John Ikenberry. 2009. “The Myth of the Autocratic Revival: Why Liberal Democracy will Prevail.” Foreign Aﬀairs 88.1: 77-93.
Levitsky, Steven, and Lucan Way. 2015. “The Myth of Democratic Recession.” Journal of Democracy 26.1: 45-58.
Levitsky, Steven, and Daniel Ziblatt. 2018. How Democracies Die. Crown. 1-32, 72-117. Mechkova, Valeriya, Anna Luhrmann, and Staﬀan I. Lindberg. 2017. “How Much Democratic Backsliding?” Journal of Democracy 28.4: 162-169.