Democracy and development

A.A. 2022/2023
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
The study of political regimes is a key topic in contemporary political science. While democratic politics prevails in the West, in several other areas of the globe most countries adopt hybrid or authoritarian politico-institutional arrangements. Over time, both the number of democratic countries and that of autocratic countries have gone through ups and downs, with opposite trends alternating and essentially failing thus far to stabilize. In order to systematically examine these trends, what we mean by the terms 'democracy' and 'autocracy' needs clarifying via rigorous definitions. Clear definitions are the necessary ground for measuring democracy, and thus also to fully understand the different ways in which democracy has been measured so far. Democracy, however, has implications that go beyond political freedoms and equality. The bulk of the course focuses on the impact of different political regimes on development and on its different dimensions. Are authoritarian regimes better than democracies at promoting economic growth? Do different political regimes produce distinct effects on state consolidation and domestic political order? Do democracies have an inherent advantage in favouring a country's socio-economic advances, including poverty reduction and welfare improvements? Examining these issues offers an opportunity to fully assess the implications of adopting different political regimes.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course, the student will have acquired both methodological skills and substantive knowledge. From a methodological perspective, learning concerns a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of what the comparative approach is, as well as of the various possible applications of the comparative method in the study of democracy and development. These tools will be useful so as to fully grasp the investigative strategies, the meaning and implications of various types of political inquiry that the student will be faced with, as well as in starting to use them directly to carry out analysis work or own research, in the political sphere and beyond. The possibility of making oral class presentations, in addition, will allow students to become familiar with the digital tools typically used for these purposes and to directly experience a situation in which they are required to prepare and communicate specific contents in front of an audience. From the perspective of substantive knowledge, the student will have acquired knowledge and understanding of democracy (notion, values and empirical content) and development (some key issues, including state building, economic growth, welfare policies, etc.), both in broad and comparative terms as well as, for those cases that examined and discussed in more depth, in terms of individual national systems and paths. The level of learning - that is, what has been learned by the student, with respect to the expected learning outcomes - will be verified and evaluated by means of one or more written tests, (possible) class presentations, attendance and participation, all aimed at assessing the student's acquired knowledge and tools as well as analytical skills.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Terzo trimestre

1. Democracy: concepts and measurements
2. Autocratization
3. Consequences of democracy
4. Democracy and economic growth
5. Democracy and the state
6. Democracy and conflict
7. Voters and accountability
8. Democracy and poverty
9. Democracy and social welfare
10. Leadership and development in Africa
General knowledge of topics and methods in political science is advisable.
Metodi didattici
Teacher's presentations, supported with slides, followed by discussions with and among the students. Required readings specifically focussing on the topics presented in each lecture.
Students' presentations.
Materiale di riferimento
Bartusevičius, Henrikas - Skaaning, Svend-Erik, "Revisiting democratic civil peace: Electoral regimes and civil conflict", Journal of Peace Research, 2018, 55(5), pp. 625-640
Bates, Robert - Block, Steven, "Revisiting African agriculture: institutional change and productivity", Journal of Politics, 75, 2013, pp. 372-384
Briggs, Ryan C., "Power to which people? Explaining how electrification targets voters across party rotations in Ghana", World Development, 2021, 1-11
Caplan, Bryan, "The myth of the rational voter. Why democracies choose bad policies", Cato Institute - Policy Analysis, 594, 2007, pp. 1-28
Colagrossi, Marco - Rossignoli, Domenico - Maggioni, Mario, "Does democracy cause growth? A meta-analysis (of 2000 regressions)", European Journal of Political Economy, 61, 2020, pp.1-44
Dorsch, Michael - Maarek, Paul, "Democratization and the conditional dynamics of income distribution", American Political Science Review, 113(2), 2019, pp. 385-404
Ferree, Karen E. - Gibson, Clark - Long, James D., "Mixed records, complexity, and ethnic voting in African elections", World Development, 2021, pp.1-10
Harding, Robin, "Who is democracy good for? Elections, rural bias, and health and education outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa", Journal of Politics, 82 (1), 2019, pp. 241-254
Kjær, Anne - Therkildsen, Ole, "Elections and landmark policies in Tanzania and Uganda", Democratization 20, no. 4, 2013, pp. 592-614
Knutsen, Carl Henrik, "A business case for democracy: regime type, growth and growth volatility", Democratization, 2020, pp. 1505-1524
Rubin, Olivier, "The merits of democracy in famine protection - fact or fallacy?", European Journal of Development Research, 2009, 21, pp. 699-717 ECCELLENTE E QUALITATIVO
Sen, Amartya, "Freedoms and needs", New Republic, 1994, pp. 31-38
Siegle, Joseph Joe - Weinstein, Michael M. - Halperin, Morton, "Why Democracies Excel", Foreign Affairs, September/October 2004, pp.57-71
Slater, Dan, "Can Leviathan Be Democratic? Competitive Elections, Robust Mass Politics and State Infrastructural Power", Studies in Comparative International Development, 2008, 43, pp. 252-272
V-Dem, Democracy Report 2022. Autocratization changing nature?, University of Gothenburg, 2022, pp. 1-60
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
The level of learning - that is, what has been learned by the student, with respect to the expected learning outcomes - will be verified and evaluated by means of a written test, (possible) class presentations, attendance and participation, all aimed at assessing the student's acquired knowledge and tools as well as analytical skills.
Lezioni: 20 ore
Siti didattici
Venerdi 14.30-17.30 su appuntamento
Stanza 208, Dipartimento Studi Sociali e Politici