The moniker ‘Democratic’ has been adopted by movements, organisations and states of drastically different ideological persuasion, social and political vision. Whether genuinely or rhetorically, the pursuit of democracy and democratisation has been a permanent fixture in international and domestic politics since the end of the Second World War. Either through violent or non-violent means, political transition and regime change is always dramatic and never simple. The course explores what this process means and how democratic transitions happen through an overview of key theories and the analysis of case studies.

Special consideration will be given to the dynamic nature of the process, including its possible reversals, and to the efforts of installing “democracy” in post-conflict situations. The course will look at democratisation in the commonly understood usage of the term, a transformation process to Western or Liberal Democracy. This is not an acceptance of a singular view of democracy but a reflection of the processes that have taken place in recent decades.