GOVT 3284

GOVT 3284

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2022-2023.

This course presents a comparative overview of democracy, trajectories toward or away from it, the prominent roles of populism and polarization, and weakening of democratic support. Many leading scholars believe we are in the midst of a "wave of autocratization," including backsliding in long-established democracies like the United States. We will seek to understand historical trends of democratization in order to make sense of the drivers and level of severity of our current political moment. Two forces appear central in current cases of democratic backsliding – populism and polarization. Populist leaders, movements, and parties who claim to represent "the people" and challenge political establishments, seek to correct a flawed or failed system of representation, opening the door for remaking the political system, often in a more autocratic direction. Polarization refers to deep divisions and feelings of animosity between leaders, political parties, and citizens themselves. The threat of the "other side" taking political power may mobilize parties and citizens to engage in violence, manipulate elections, and remove rights and protections.

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (GLC-AS, SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Course Subfield (CP)

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Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 3 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • 18242 GOVT 3284   LEC 001

    • MWF McGraw Hall 215
    • Jan 23 - May 9, 2023
    • Friesen, P

  • Instruction Mode: In Person