Sunday, 17 February 2013

POLS 208 Democracy, Semester One, 2013

I'm getting excited about teaching this paper again in Semester One, 2013, at the University of Otago.  

The key required reading is my book, with details in my previous post below, and a substantial reading brick that contains a range of liberal and neoliberal texts, including two chapters from Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom that outlines the liberal critique of socialism and defence of capitalism and representative democracy. 

As well as focusing on the history of democracy, including Athenian, liberal representative and socialist participatory democracy, in the course we also consider and discuss the debates between socialists, liberals and feminists concerning whether or not capitalism and liberal representative democracy are preferable to socialist participatory democracy.

This is the course where I’m pushing the envelope with multimedia in order to make the course as stimulating and thought provoking as possible. Definitely expect the unexpected in this regard. I’ll be using music videos, video documentaries, PowerPoint, quizzes, handouts, straw polls, an old OHP, and springing some surprises in other ways as well. 

Whether your political views are right, left or centre you may well enjoy this course if you are interested in learning more about the past, present and possible future of democracy and prepared to participate in the course with an open mind.

The lecture schedule is set out below. 


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Lecture Schedule
Introduction
1.    What is Democracy?

Section 1: Athenian Democracy & The Roman Republic
2.    Athenian Democracy 508-322BC: Descriptive Overview
3.    Athenian Democracy 508-322BC: Critical Evaluation
4.    The Roman Republic: Democracy or Oligarchy?

Section 2: Liberal Representative Democracy
5.    What is Representative Democracy? The Liberal Pluralist View
6.    The English Revolution 1640-88: Background, Context and Key Actors
7.    The English Revolution 1640-88: Main Events and Significance for the Historical Emergence of Liberal Democracy
8.    The Revolutionary Revival of Democracy in France 1789-95: Background, Context and Key Actors
9.    The Revolutionary Revival of Democracy in France 1789-95: Main Events and Significance for the Historical Emergence of Liberal Democracy
10.  The American Revolution 1776-1791: Background, Context and Main Events
11.  The US Constitution and Bill of Rights: Redefining Democracy
12.  The Liberal Justification of Capitalism and Representative Democracy
13.  The Liberal Critique of Socialism and Participatory Democracy

Section 3: Socialist Participatory Democracy
14.   The Marxist Critique of Capitalism
15.  The Marxist Critique of Representative Democracy
16.  The Paris Commune 1871 and Socialist Democracy
17.  The Russian Revolution 1917: Significance and Main Events
18.  The Russian Revolution 1917: A Democratic Revolution?
19.  The Rise and Fall of Stalinism: Death of Socialism?
20.  Revolution, Socialism and Participatory Democracy

Section 4: Democracy in the 21st Century
21.  The Debate between Socialists and Liberals Concerning the Future of Democracy (1)
22.  The Debate between Socialists and Liberals Concerning the Future of Democracy (2)
23.   The Feminist Critique of Liberalism and Representative Democracy
24.   Globalisation and Democracy: Is Globalisation Undermining Democracy?
25.  Cosmopolitan Social Democracy: A Feasible Alternative to Neoliberalism?
26.  Movements for Progressive Change in the 21st Century: from the Seattle anti-WTO Protests to the Arab Spring, Occupy, and Beyond

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