Seminar of democracy and citizenship

lspri2222  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Seminar of democracy and citizenship
5 credits
15.0 h
Main themes
In recent decades, significant developments, such as rising education levels, the increasing mobility of people and goods, European integration and globalization, or the development of social media transformed our democracies and the modes of expression of citizenship, in Europe in particular. Through theoretical and empirical tools of political sociology, this course aims to provide understanding of these current transformations. Like any social science, political sociology mobilizes competing paradigms that guide the measure and explanation of the democratic phenomena under scrutiny. This course aims to give an account of some of the central controversies of the discipline surrounding the issues of democracy and citizenship in contemporary societies.

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

1 By questioning the capacity of political sociology - and in particular the study of democracy and citizenship, this course aims to familiarize students with empirical analysis. A series of themes and journal articles that address, in a diversified manner, issues related to citizenship and democracy will be studied. At stake is for students to identify and discuss the approach taken by the authors and thereby for students to use the theoretical and empirical tools to replicate these analyzes on other objects and in other contexts. After completing this seminar, the student should be able to engage into rigorous analysis on democracy and citizenship in order to understand and to grasp current transformations and challenges.
The following general themes will be discussed in particular: concurrent definitions of the political object and methods for identifying the political in the interactions and behavior of citizens; discussion of competing conceptions of democracy; political (non-)participation and the different repertoires of political engagement and expression; the nationalism and the political community ; the role of the media in democracy. Major transformations which are as many challenges for Western democracies will be analyzed by the students: European integration, globalization, and new social media and populism. The transversal question around which the course and the text discussions are structured is as follows : what are the challenges today for democracy and citizenship ?
Teaching methods
In 2020-2021, the seminar will take place in a hybrid format - the first session will be face-to-face and will be the opportunity to assign the books to be read to the students whereas the following sessions will be held virtually on Teams. In both cases, the format of the seminar aims to allow interaction between students and the Professor.
Evaluation methods
The grade obtained by the student will combine the following elements: - Each session will be introduced by the discussion of a theme (among those covered in the course) around the reading of a book that will be presented by several students. The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss the scientific argument of the subject (not to summarize it). It will be the subject of a short collective written note. - One article (per session) on the theme of the session will be made available on Moodle and will be compulsory reading for all students. - The regular participation of students in the discussion of compulsory readings and in the seminar will also be taken into account. For each session, students must ask one (or more) question (s) on the reading text to which the students in charge of the session will provide their answers . - The final validation takes the form of a research project relating to the questions addressed in the seminar.
Online resources
All the resources will be made available to students on the Moodle platform.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Political Sciences: General