Fall 2013

Democratic Theory

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-308


Andrew Poe (Section 01)


 [PT] What is “Democracy”? Sometimes this phrase refers to a set of beliefs and values, including freedom, equality, and the opposition to any domination. But "democracy" can also refer to a specific set of political institutions, including free and fair elections, open civil society, and variation in rule and office. It seems this phenomenon can be understood equally well as a political ideal or as the practice of achieving that ideal. How these different meanings operate--how they do and don’t work together--is not always clear. In this course we will examine current debates in democratic theory. Our aim will be to parse contemporary discourse on how democratic institutions shape and are shaped by different theories of what democracy should be. The course will be divided into four parts: the Institutions of Democracy; Democratic Agonism; Deliberative Democracy; and Political Action. Readings will include selections from various democratic theorists, including Robert Dahl, Carl Schmitt, Jacques Ranciére, Jürgen Habermas, Hannah Arendt, and Walter Benjamin, amongst others. 

Limited to 30 students.  Not open to first-year students.  Fall semester.  Professor Poe.

If Overenrolled: Preference for majors/Juniors first/balanced after

Cost: 14.00 ?


2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2018