Credit points: 15

Subject outline

For many commentators, the end of the Cold War heralded the impending triumph of democratic governance on a global scale. A quarter century later, optimism has given way to pessimism. This course seeks to explain why democratisation has often failed to produce durable democratic institutions. How have authoritarian regimes responded to the challenges posed by pro-democracy uprisings and Western democracy promotion? Does democratisation resolve or exacerbate ethnic conflict? How is the success of democratisation influenced by the nature of institutions like the military, the judiciary, political parties and the media? Is culture or religion an obstacle to democracy? Drawing on case studies from regions such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, this course answers these and other questions as it introduces students to key concepts and debates in scholarship on democratisation and the new authoritarianism.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorRobert Horvath

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesLectures, tutorial discussions, tutorial engagement exercises, argumentative research essays 1 and 2

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 15 credit points of any first year Politics subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject, or subject coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Demonstrate an understanding and critical evaluation of contemporary global trends in democratisation
02. identify and explain the international and domestic factors, actors and institutions influencing processes of political change and continuity
03. Critically evaluate key scholarly debates about the successes and failures of democratisation and democracy promotion
04. Apply debates about democratisation and new authoritarianism to real world political contexts
05. Construct an academic argument based on research employing primary and secondary research

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorRobert Horvath

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 30 - 42
One 2.00 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 30 to week 42 and delivered via blended.

TutorialWeek: 30 - 42
One 1.00 hour tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 30 to week 42 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Written tutorial engagement exercises (500 words) Four short critical comments, two in response to the readings, two in response to the lecture. These are to be submitted in hard copy in 6 out of 12 tutorials and serve as the basis for the student's contribution to class discussion.

N/AOtherIndividualNo15 SILO1, SILO2

First Argumentative Research Essay (1700 words)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4

Second Argumentative Research Essay (1800 words) Students will be required to state how they applied the feedback from the Research Essay in this exam essay.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo45 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO5