Department of Political Science

IR 235 Elections under Democracy and Dictatorship

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Old Political Science Field: Associated Courses
Old International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)

This course is archived. It will not be offered again.

Ora John Reuter
Spring 2013 — TR 11:05-12:20

Course Syllabus

Elections have become a near universal phenomenon in the modern world. In democracies, elections are the primary means of linking citizens to the government. In many new democracies, elections aspire to this function, but often fall short. Meanwhile, elections in modern authoritarian regimes serve functions that have little to do with representation and accountability. This course considers the promise and practice of elections in the modern world. It begins by considering the functions that elections should fulfill in democracies, then how elections in new democracies succeed and fail in fulfilling these functions, and finally the role of elections in authoritarian regimes. The course proceeds thematically, but readings will examine recent elections in new democracies such as Kenya, Lebanon, Brazil, and Ukraine, while the conduct of authoritarian elections will be examined in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, and Russia.