Theories of Democracy


a) To study theories of democracy from Tucidides to Robert Dahl, combining historical-institutional analysis with philosophical approaches.
b) To study democracy as a historical-institutional form of regulation of political competition.
c) To study the problems of contemporary democracies and representative regimes.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Camacho Giestas Cancela


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





Dahl, Robert, Democracy and its Critics, New Haven/London, Yale University Press, 1989, pp. 1-33, 213-224, 322-341
Schmitter, Philippe C., Karl, Terry Lynn, “What Democracy is ... and is not”, in Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, ed., The Global Resurgence of Democracy, Baltimore and London, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, pp. 49-62.
Huntington, Samuel P., The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Norman and London, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991, pp. 1-30.
Linz, Juan and Stepan, Alfred, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation. Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, Baltimore and London, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, pp. 3-87.
Lijphart, Arend, Democracies: Patterns of Majoritarian and Consensus Government in Twenty-One Countries, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1984, pp. 1-45.

Teaching method

Presentation and discussion of the literature in class

Evaluation method

Participation in Class(25%), written test(75%)

Subject matter

1.What is Democracy? The classics, the moderns and the contemporary
2.Origins of Democracy: social classes and socioeconomic requisites
3.Origins of Democracy: institucional legacies and transition modes
4.Origins of Democracy: elites and masses
5.Components of Democracy: Representation
6.Components of Democracy: Decision Rules
7.Deliberative Democracy
8.The Future of Democracy: liberal, post-liberal or unruly?
9.The Future of Democracy: direct, associational or delegative?


Programs where the course is taught: