Explored through the lens of different political systems, this course provides the insights neededto understand Democracy today and the challenges faced by democratic governments.
This course is part of the IPSAMOOC project, a joint venture Federica Weblearning – IPSA, the International Political Science Association If you’ve ever asked the question, “What is Democracy?” this course is for you. This comparative study of politics covers a wide variety of topics and themes. The course begins with a definition of the comparative method and a special focus on concept formation and historical and institutional approaches. It highlights the way in which democratic regimes are governed, and the way electoral rules impact not only on parties and the party system but also on citizens. We will study the different forms of government, their structure and role, leading to an understanding of the dynamics of governing coalitions and their rotation in office. Together we will evaluate the assets and liabilities of the different institutional structures and approaches. The last part of the course will focus on the effectiveness of different democratic regimes and evaluate proposals for change. The emerging overall picture will show the existence of several institutional solutions to the challenges and the problems of contemporary democracies.