Contemporary political regimes

lpols1212  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Contemporary political regimes
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
5 credits
30.0 h
Main themes
The course of contemporary political Systems is destined to present a preview of the main political régimes that meets in the contemporary States. It has been decided to keep political systems considered like democratic only. By "political system", one not only hears the exam of the efficient exercise of the power as it results from the dominant institutional practice, but also the synthetic presentation of the rules, legal or no, of organization and working of the authorities and the description of the electoral system, of the system of the parties and pressure groups.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The object of the course is to offer to the students a sufficient information on the institutions and the system politics of some countries of which the place in the world is important or original. It must also permit the deepening of some questions of political science
There is a variety of contemporary political regimes which includes not only liberal democracies, but also non-democratic regimes and hybrid regimes like illiberal democracies. The course draws from theories of comparative politics to address pressing and longstanding issues like: who actually governs? How do governments interact with business, civil society and other countries and how do these relationships influence policymaking? How do different regimes impact on long-term income growth and inequality? How is it that some democratic regimes endure while others deteriorate in terms of democratic quality? How can plural societies be democratic? The course approaches these issues comparatively with a focus on Western and Eastern Europe. It also pays attention to historical developments of democratic regimes, both past and present.
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

This course is taught mostly in a lecture-format and in-class activities also take place. Student participation is highly appreciated!
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

This course’s evaluation is based on weekly assignments (during the semester only) and a final exam. Weekly attendance is therefore highly recommended.
  • Weekly reading assignments and related exercises (only during the semester)
  • Case-study report and related assignments (the exercises are to be submitted during the semester only)
  • Written exam with open questions
Depending on the health conditions, in-class activities and on-site exams may take place online.
Online resources
The slideshow of each session is uploaded on Moodle after each class.
The weekly reading assignments are also available on Moodle.
- Acemoglu, Daron and Robinson, James (2006), Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Boix, Carles (2003), Democracy and Redistribution, New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Ansell, Ben and Samuels, David (2014), Inequality and Democratization: An Elite-Competition Approach, Cambridge University Press.
- Dahl, Robert A. (1971), Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition, New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Lijphart, Arend (1977), Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration, New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Moore, Barrington, Jr. (1966), Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, Cambridge: Beacon Press.
- North, Douglass and Weingast, Barry (1989), “Constitutions and Commitment: Evolution of the Institutions Governing Public Choice in 17th Century England”, Journal of Economic History, 49, 803-832.
- Przeworski, Adam, Alvarez, Michael, Cheibub, Jose, and Limongi, Fernando (2000), Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well Being in the World, 1950- 1990, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Minor in Human and Social Sciences

Minor in Political Sciences

Bachelor in Political Sciences: General

Approfondissement 'Principes de maîtrise de l'actualité'