Accessibility statement

Challenges to policy-making in democratising countries - POL00085M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Politics and International Relations
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Elena Davidescu
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

In this module we will discuss the key challenges to policy-making in democratising countries around the world, with a focus on political regimes other than established Western democracies.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Topics we shall address include different aspects of the democratisation process and regional case studies around the world, and their links to different waves of democratisation:

Theoretical foundations:

1) Theories of democratisation.

2) Failed democratisation.

Key policy-making challenges:

3) Administrative capacity.

4) Corruption and patronage.

5) Social capital and civil society.

Regional case studies:

6) Latin America.

7) Post-communist Eastern Europe.

8) East Asia.

The module will engage with issues of domestic regime survival, while considering wider issues of international alliances and the constraints of the world economic system.

Module learning outcomes

  • To understand some of the central themes in the study of democratization, especially those concerning challenges to the policy-making process in a non-Western context.
  • To develop theoretical, analytical, and critical abilities, through seminar discussion and the investigation of regional case-studies.


Task Length % of module mark
4000 Word Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4000 Word Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Students may want to familiarise themselves with some of the course reading. Here is a provisional list of the core books and articles that we will be reading either in part or in full:

Haerpfer, C. et al. (2009) Democratization, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Kitschelt, H. and Wilkinson, S. (2007) (eds.) Patrons, clients and policies. Patterns of democratic accountability and political competition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Klingemann, H. et al. (2006) Democracy and political culture in Eastern Europe, Routledge, London.

Wiarda, H. (2005) Dilemmas of Democracy in Latin America: crises and opportunity, MD Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham.

Rich, R (2007) Pacific Asia in quest for democracy, Lynne Rienner, Boulder.

Armony, A. and Schamis, H. (2005) ‘Babel in democratisation studies’, Journal of Democracy, 16(4), 113-28.

Alagappa, M. (2001) Civil society and political change in Asia, Stanford University Press, Stanford.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.