Contemporary political regimes

lpols1212  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Contemporary political regimes
5.00 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.
Learning outcomes

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 democratic regimes, including liberal democracies and illiberal democracies, majoritarian democracies and consociational democracies. The course draws from theories of comparative politics to address pressing and longstanding issues like: Does the People actually governs in democratic regimes? Who gets to be represented in democratic regimes and how? 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 European democratic regimes. It also pays attention to historical developments of democratic regimes and studies the contemporary challenges they face.
Teaching methods
This course is taught mostly in a lecture-format but in-class activities also take place. Student participation is highly appreciated!
Evaluation methods
The evaluation of the course will be based on (i) a continuous evaluation based on readings that will be assigned to students on a weekly basis (25% of the final grade), (ii) a reading report (35% of the final grade) and (iii) a written exam (40% of the final grade). The marks for the continuous evaluation will carry over to the August session.
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.
- 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.
- Ziblatt, Daniel (2017), Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Minor in Human and Social Sciences

Minor in Political Sciences

Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Approfondissement 'Principes de maîtrise de l'actualité'

Bachelor in Political Sciences: General