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Veranstaltungsart Seminar/Proseminar Veranstaltungsnummer 53049
Semester SoSe 2018 SWS 2
Rhythmus Moodle-Link  
Veranstaltungsstatus Freigegeben für Vorlesungsverzeichnis  Freigegeben  Sprache englisch
Belegungsfristen - Eine Belegung ist online erforderlich
Veranstaltungsformat Präsenz


Gruppe 1
Tag Zeit Rhythmus Dauer Raum Gebäude Raum-
Lehrperson Status Bemerkung fällt aus am Max. Teilnehmer/-innen
Fr. 12:00 bis 14:00 wöch von 04.05.2018  005 (Seminarraum)
Stockwerk: EG

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Uni3b Institutsgebäude - Universitätsstraße 3b (UNI 3)

Außenbereich nutzbar Innenbereich eingeschränkt nutzbar Parkplatz vorhanden Barrierearmes WC vorhanden Barrierearme Anreise mit ÖPNV möglich
  findet statt     35
Gruppe 1:
Zur Zeit keine Belegung möglich

Abschluss Studiengang LP Semester
Bachelor of Arts  Sozialwissenschaften Beifach ( POVersion: 2011 )     -  
Bachelor of Arts  Sozialwissenschaften Monobachelor ( POVersion: 2011 )     -  
Bachelor of Arts  Sozialwissenschaften Zweitfach ( POVersion: 2011 )     -  
Bachelor of Arts  Sozialwissenschaften Monobachelor ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2014 )     -  
Bachelor of Arts  Sozialwissenschaften Zweitfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2014 )     -  
Bachelor of Science  Sozialwissenschaften Beifach ( POVersion: 2011 )     -  
Bachelor of Science  Sozialwissenschaften Zweitfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2014 )     -  
Programmstudium-o.Abschl.  Sozialwissenschaften Programm ( POVersion: 1999 )     -  
Zuordnung zu Einrichtungen
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Politisches Verhalten im Vergleich

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
major goals.

(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.

Class Schedules


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 (

Polity IV ( Varieties of Democracy (

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:

** 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:

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:

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.



Reading Materials

Reading materials consist of journal articles and book chapters. All reading materials are
available on the course website. There is no textbook in this course, but you may be interested
in buying the books below of which we will read more than one chapter.

• Przeworski, Adam, Susan C. Stokes, and Bernard Manin, (eds.) 1999. Democracy,
Accountability, and Representation. Cambridge University Press.
• Svolik, Milan W. 2012. The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. Cambridge University
• Levitsky, Steven, and Daniel Ziblatt. 2018. How Democracies Die. Crown.


Course Requirements
1. Participation: The format of this course is a seminar-based lecture, and thus your
active and thoughtful participation in class is the key to make this course a success.
It is essential that every student has completed the assigned readings before class and
is ready to participate in discussion. To this end, each student should upload one
comment or discussion question to the class website no later than Friday 9 AM every
week. The instructor will read over the comments and questions before class and
incorporate them into the lecture.

2. Two short assignments: There are two short assignments on Week 3 and Week 10.
They aim to make you familiar with the datasets and preliminary empirical analysis.
In these assignments, you will deal with existing datasets of democracy and autocracy,
create basic plots and graphs, and write a short verbal description of your empirical
findings. The instructor will provide instructions and resources for the assignments
one week prior to the assignments.
3. Reaction paper: Each student must write one (or two) reaction paper(s) (1,200±50
words) on the readings for a particular week. You can choose a particular week on
which you would like to write. Your reaction paper should be a critical review of the
assigned readings. It should not be mere summary of the readings one-by-one. For
successful reaction paper, you should analyze key theoretical and methodological issues
of the topic, compare and contrast the assigned readings, evaluate them critically, and
suggest the agendas for future research. I strongly recommend you meet the instructor
to discuss your paper before submitting it. Reaction paper should be submitted to
the instructor via e-mail no later than Thursday 5 PM on the week you choose.
4. Final paper: Each student will be required to submit a final research paper (about
20 pages, double-spaced) focused upon a selected topic of democracy and/or autocracy.
Although you can freely choose the topic of your interest, your paper should be
analytical and systematic. In particular, your paper should offer (a) an introduction
specifying your research question, (b) a review of existing literature, (c) a theoretical
section outlining your main arguments and central hypotheses (if possible), and (d)
your research plan to explore or test your argument. If you want to go further, your
paper can also include some preliminary findings and tentative conclusions. I strongly
recommend you develop your paper as early as possible and meet the instructor regularly
to discuss your project. Final paper should be submitted to the instructor via
e-mail no later than August 10th (Friday).

Your grade is based on the quality of your performance on four course requirements described
For 3 ECTS Credits: For 5 ECTS Credits:
• Participation 10% • Participation 10%
• Two short assignments 10% (5% each) • Two short assignments 10% (5% each)
• One reaction paper 25% • Two reaction papers 40% (20% each)
• Final paper 45% • Final paper 40%


Keine Einordnung ins Vorlesungsverzeichnis vorhanden. Veranstaltung ist aus dem Semester SoSe 2018. Aktuelles Semester: WiSe 2024/25.
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