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COURSE NUMBER: POLI 318
COURSE TITLE: Democracy in Politics and Society
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Michael DeMoor
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course considers the idea and ideal of democracy through a consideration of its history, theoretical justifications, and concrete practices in contemporary politics and society. Since democracy concerns authority and decision making, the course also considers the applicability of the ideal of democracy to other societal structures, such as, the family, the classroom, the business enterprise, labour unions, the economy, and the church.

Prerequisites: POLI 205
REQUIRED TEXTS: Readings will be posted on Moodle. Because this is a course on democracy, it seems fitting that some topics be decided by the participants in the course and assigned readings in those cases will depend upon the topics chosen.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Paper 1 30%
Paper 230%
Class participation10%
Final Exam 30%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:
  1. To understand and consider the history and development of democratic theory and politics.
  2. To understand central democratic concepts (e.g., representation, deliberation, popular sovereignty, equality, etc.) and the different ways they are instantiated in democratic polities (e.g., electoral systems, forms of representation, etc.)
  3. To understand the relationship of democratic politics to political culture, civil society, economic systems, and media, and to consider the consequences of this for “democratization,” etc.
  4. To understand and consider how democratic ideals and practices can and should be applied to “non-political” institutions and practices in modern societies (e.g., schooling, work, media).
  5. To critically consider (particularly from the standpoint of traditions of Christian political reflection) the viability and desirability of democracy as an ideal and practice.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • Intro
  • History of Democracy
  • History: Modernity
  • Democracy as a Right
  • Representation
  • Electoral systems
  • Democracy and Pluralism
  • Consociational Democracy
  • Democracy and Civil society
  • Democracy and Economy
  • Democratization
  • Democracy and Education?
  • Democracy and social media?
  • Democracy and work?
  • Grassroots democracy?


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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