PO3DDP-Democracy and Democracy Promotion

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Adam Humphreys

Email: a.r.humphreys@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The world is increasingly populated by democratic states. If democratic peace theory is correct, then this should reduce the incidence of inter-state war. It also provides an obvious incentive to promote democracy. Yet many of the world’s democracies are best understood as partial or hybrid democracies, raising problems both for democratic peace theory and for the practices of democracy promotion and assistance. This module explores the spread of democracy, especially the rise of partial or hybrid democracies; the relationship between democracy, violence and world order; and the motives and means of democracy promotion and assistance. It is organized into three sections: the first examines the nature of democracy and the rise of partial or hybrid democracies; the second explores the relationship between democracy (in both its consolidated and hybrid forms) and violence; the third interrogates the ideology, means and record of democracy promotion and assistance. For an indicative list of topics covered, see the outline content, below.

Students will develop knowledge of the range of institutional arrangements, ideologies and social, economic and cultural conditions consistent with “democracy” in the contemporary world and be able to draw on that knowledge to inquire critically into the relationship between democracy and violence and the merits of and problems with a range of approaches to democracy promotion and assistance. Students will also develop presentation and report-writing skills.

Assessable learning outcomes:
•Ability to engage in critical analysis of types and degrees of democracy and democratization
•Ability to identify and analyse the background assumptions underpinning democracy promotion and assistance efforts
•Ability to assess the merits of competing characterizations of and explanations for the relationship between democracy and violence in contemporary world politics
•Ability to engage critically with academic literature, policy reports, and public commentaries
•Ability to summarize information and arguments succinctly and communicate them effectively
•Ability to develop, formulate and express individual understanding

Additional outcomes:
Transferable skills:
•Information acquisition and processing
•Critical and analytical capacity
•Research and report writing
•Organization and time-management

Outline content:
(Module content is indicative only and may be subject to change).

Some of the topics covered may include some of the following:

What is valuable about democracy?
The spread of democracy
Hybrid regimes
Democratic Peace Theory
Problems of democratization
Democracy and war
History and ideology of democracy promotion
Democracy assistance
Forcible democracy promotion
The backlash against democracy assistance
Criticisms of democracy promotion
Democracy promotion in the Middle East

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course is taught via 2hr seminars, plus an introductory lecture to each of the three parts of the course. Seminars will require student reading, participation in structured group discussion, and assessed individual and/or group presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 176
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Report 60
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed by 100% coursework, consisting of
•One 2000 word essay, counting for 30%;
•One assessed seminar presentation, counting for 10%;
•One 4000 word research report on whether a major international actor (to be chosen by the student) should promote democracy in a non-democratic or partially democratic state (to be chosen by the student), counting for 60%.

Visiting Students will be required to complete all forms of assessment.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    There is no examination

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Candidates who fail their final year normally have the right to be re-examined on one further occasion at the next opportunity. These candidates will not normally be eligible for Honours (ie., only a ‘Pass’ classification would be attainable). Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements (coursework and re-examination) even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Presentations may also be reassessed in consultation with Dr Humphreys.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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