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Transformations in Modern Politics: Democracy, Conflict and Globalisation


There are no classes currently available for registration.


What do we mean when we talk about ‘the West’ today? And how has democracy evolved over time? These questions are at the heart of this Transformations in Modern Politics: Democracy, Conflict and Globalisation short course.

We begin the course by examining the key global transformations in politics in the modern era, from wars and revolutions to ideologies and mass movements. Then we move on to looking at the differences and connections between democratic and authoritarian regimes. This raises many questions for us to explore: such as how democratisation occurs, how democracies relate to non-democratic forms of government, how non-democratic regimes claim a degree of legitimacy, whether it is true that democracies do not fight wars against each other, and what is ‘illiberal democracy’?

On this short course you will have the chance to develop relevant research methods and study skills to critically analyse transformations in global politics. You will gain a thorough grounding in the central transformations that have shaped the modern world.

We aim to cover the following themes:

  • Before European hegemony: travel, trade and civilisation
  • The Atlantic Crucible
  • What is the West, and when was it made? Classes, masses and nations
  • The Age of Empire: capitalism, imperialism, war
  • The Long Peace: the Cold War as global conflict
  • Models of democracy
  • Democratic peace theory
  • Theories of democratisation
  • Fascism, communism
  • Illiberal democracy

Assessment is via a 2000-word essay (90%) and four online quizzes (10%).

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

30 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.