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Democracy and Authoritarianism


There are no classes currently available for registration.


This is a credit bearing course but can also be taken as a non-credit bearing course.

Discover the difference between our credit bearing and non-credit bearing courses.

The aim of this Democracy and Authoritarianism short course is to introduce you to basic concepts that are associated with the idea of democracy and democratic politics. We will also examine the notion of authoritarianism and non-democratic regimes, the way they have sought to gain legitimacy and how they relate to contemporary debates.

We will address the following, and related questions, by reviewing a broad range of academic and other material: How has democracy evolved over time? How does democratisation occur? How does this relate to non-democratic forms of government? How do non-democratic regimes claim a degree of legitimacy? Is it true that democracies do not fight wars against each other?

We aim to cover:

  • Models of democracy
  • Deliberative democracy
  • Democratic peace theory
  • Theories of democratisation
  • Fascism and communism
  • ‘Illiberal democracy’

Assessment on this course is via a short in-class or online test (10%) and 1500-word essay (90%).

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as a part of:

15 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.