Rise and Fall of Democracy (POLS 455)

2020 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science(POLS)
6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Berk Esen besen@sabanciuniv.edu,
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SPS102 SPS101
Interactive lecture,Seminar,On-line task/distance
Interactive,Learner centered,Communicative,Discussion based learning
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This course is designed to give the student an understanding of the democratic regime as well as the way in which it has come under attack in the contemporary period. It offers an introduction to the conflicting definitions of the term and addresses such issues as democracy as government and representation. The course reviews the phenomenal rise of electoral democracies after the Third Wave and the proliferation of 'democracy with adjectives' in the global south. Particular emphasis is be placed on those factors and mechanisms that have eroded democratic institutions and facilitated democratic backsliding and breakdown in different parts of the globe.


This course is an introduction on democracy, democratization and conflicts. Following the end of the Cold War, democratization has been promoted as the panacea for underdevelopment, ethnic and religious conflicts. We try to answer questions such as :
* Is democracy an ideal form of governance?
* Can we measure the level of democratic development?
* Can democracy be imposed from outside?
* What are the conditions for democracy to take root?
* Can conflicts be resolved through democratization?


? Demonstrate substantive knowledge of how the concept of democracy was conceptualized and formulated throughout the history of western civilization.
? Describe and critically assess how democracy as a form of state and of government relates to citizenship and individual freedoms.
? Demonstrate a sound knowledge of such key concepts as representation participation liberty freedom rights cooperatism pluralism and the distribution of power in society.
? Describe the development of democratic institutions and how these institutions function today in adverse democracies.


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 5

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 5

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 5

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 5

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 5

1. Understand and follow changes in patterns of political behavior, ideas and structures. 5

2. Develop the ability to make logical inferences about social and political issues on the basis of comparative and historical knowledge. 5

1. Analyze global affairs from international relations and economics perspectives.

2. Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of the international affairs.

3. Compete for increasing opportunities in careers within the newly emerging global institutions.

4. Evaluate the international political events and present their views and positions on international affairs with advanced oral and written skills.



? Birch, A. H. Concepts and Theories of Modern Democracy. 2nd edition. London, New York: Routledge, 2002.

? Blaug, R. and Schwarzmantel, J., eds. Democracy: A Reader. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000.

? Held, D. Models of Democracy. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996.


I. Week of September 26

Held, pp. 1-10 and 13-35.
? Introduction
? Classical Democracy: Athens

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.), pp. 25-33; 263-268.

? Pericles, Funeral Oration (25-28)
? Aristotle, The Politics (28-33)
? Plato, The Republic (263-68)

II. Week of October 4

Held, pp. 36-69
? Republicanism: Liberty, Self-Government and the Active Citizen

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.)
? Niccolo Machiavelli, The Discourses (34-37)
? Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (38-43)
? Jean- Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (44-52)
? Aristotle, The Politics (208-210)
? James Madison (at al.), The Federalist Papers (53-58)


III. Week of October 10

Held, pp. 70-100.
? The development of Liberal Democracy: For and Against the State

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.)
? Introduction (120-121)
? John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government (122-125)
? Jean- Jean Rousseau, The Social Contract (102-103)
? Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty (113-116)
? Robert Paul Wolff, In Defense of Anarchism (117-119)
? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (68-77)

IV. Week of October 17

Held, pp. 100-120.
? The development of Liberal Democracy: For and Against the State

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.)

? John Stuart Mill, Representative Government (59-67)
? James Mill, Essay on Government (153-156)
? Jean- Jean Rousseau, The Social Contract (126-128)
? Jean- Jean Rousseau, A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (129-131)
? Jean- Jean Rousseau, The Social Contract (147-149)
? Jean- Jean Rousseau, The Social Contract (176-178)
? John Stuart Mill, Representative Government (181-184)
? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (185-193)


V. Week of October 24
Held, pp. 121-154.
? Direct Democracy and the end of Politics

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.)
? Introduction : Marxist and Socialist Critiques (232-233)
? Karl Marx, On the Jewish Question (234-239)
? Karl Marx, The Civil War in France (240-243)
? Vladimir Ilich Lenin, The State and Revolution (244-247)
? R. Miliband, Marxism and Politics (248-252)
? C. B. Macpherson, Democratic Theory, Essays in Retrieval (253-259)
? Michael Walzer, A Day in the life of a Socialist Citizen (458-461)

Week of October 31
Midterm Break


VI. Week of November 7
Held, pp. 157-198.
? Competitive Elitism and the Technocratic Vision

Birch, pp. 186-211.
? Elitism and Class Dominance

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.), pp. 269-299.
? Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (269-273)
? Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (280-281)
? Max Weber, Economy and Society (282-286)


VII. Week of November 14

Held, pp. 199-232.
? Pluralism, Corporate Capitalism and the State

Birch, pp.196-203.
? Corporatism

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.)
? Conservative, Elitist and Authoritarian Critiques: Introduction (260-262)
? Roger Scruton, Te Meaning of Conservatism (274-277)
? Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (92-95)
? Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (294-299)
? Robert Michels, Political Parties (287-289)
? F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (362-366)
? Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (367-372)
? David Beetham, Liberal Democracy and Limits of Democratization (373-376)


VIII. Week of November 21
Held, D., pp. 233-273.
? From Postwar Stability to Political Crisis: the Polarization of Political Ideas

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.)
? Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy, Participation and Opposition (199-203)
? Giovanni Sartori, The Theory of Democracy Revisited (194-198)
? Geraint Parry and George, More Participation, More Democracy? (442-446)
? Benjamin R. Baber, Strong Democracy (447-451)
? Hanna Pitkin and Sara M. Shumer, On Participation (452-457)

IX. Week of November 28

Held, D., pp. 295-324.
? Democratic autonomy

Blaug, R. and Schwarzmantel, J. (eds.)
? Introduction: Civil Society (476-477)
? Jean L. Cohen and Andrew Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory (478-482)
? Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone (483-485)
? Paul Hirst, Associative Principles and Democratic Reform (486-491)
? Giovanni Sartori, Anti-Elitism Revisited (290-293)


X: Week of December 5

Birch, pp. 13-42.
? Authority in the Modern State

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.)
? Rational Choice: Introduction (336-337)
? Amartya Sen, The Possibility of Social Choice (338-341)
? Kenneth J. Arrow, Social Choice and Individual Values (342-343)
? Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy (344-347)
? Brain Barry, Political Participation as Rational Action (348-358)
? Hilary Wainwright, Arguments for a New Left (377-381)
? Ghia Nodia, Nationalism and Democracy (384-386)
? John Schwarzmantel, Two Concepts of The Nation (390- 395)


XI: Week of December 12

Birch, pp. 45-112.
? The Democratic State and the Citizen


XII. Week of December 19

Birch, pp. 113-134.
? Rights

Readings to be distributed in class*
? Larry Diamond, ?Rethinking Civil Society: Towards Democratic xerox*
Consolidation?, Journal of Democracy, 5 (July 1994).
? Edward Shils, ?Civility and Civil Society? xerox*
? Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson,
Why Deliberative Democracy is Different? xerox*

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.), pp. 492-514.
? Introduction: Deliberation: (492-493)
? Ricardo Blaug, New Developments in Deliberative Democracy (494-500)
? B.Manin, On Legitimacy and Political Deliberation (501-508)
? Jurgen Habermas, The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (509-514)


XIII. Week of December 26
Birch, pp. 137-168.
? Political power and Policy Making (Political Power)


XIV. Week of January 2
Held, D., pp. 335-360.
? Democracy, the Nation-state and the Global System

Blaug and Schwarzmantel (eds.), pp. 524-557.
? Introduction (524-525)
? Chantal Mouffe, Radical Democracy: Modern or Post-modern? (526-529)
? Barbara Epstein, Radical Democracy and Cultural Politics:
What About Class? What About Political Power? (530-541)