Contemporary political regimes

lpols1212  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Contemporary political regimes
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
30.0 h
Dupuy Claire;
Main themes
The course of contemporary political Systems is destined to present a preview of the main political régimes that meets in the contemporary States. It has been decided to keep political systems considered like democratic only. By "political system", one not only hears the exam of the efficient exercise of the power as it results from the dominant institutional practice, but also the synthetic presentation of the rules, legal or no, of organization and working of the authorities and the description of the electoral system, of the system of the parties and pressure groups.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The object of the course is to offer to the students a sufficient information on the institutions and the system politics of some countries of which the place in the world is important or original. It must also permit the deepening of some questions of political science

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
There is a variety of contemporary political regimes which includes not only liberal democracies, but also non-democratic regimes and hybrid regimes like illiberal democracies. The course draws from theories of comparative politics to address pressing and longstanding issues like: who actually governs? How do governments interact with business, civil society and other countries and how do these relationships influence policymaking? How do different regimes impact on long-term income growth and inequality? How is it that some democratic regimes endure while others deteriorate in terms of democratic quality? How can plural societies be democratic? The course approaches these issues comparatively with a focus on Western and Eastern Europe. It also pays attention to historical developments of democratic regimes, both past and present.
Teaching methods
This course is taught mostly in a lecture-format. But in-class activities also takes place.
Evaluation methods
Weekly reading assignments and related exercises
Written exam with open-questions
Online resources
The slideshow of each session is available on Moodle after each class.
The weekly reading assignments are also uploaded on Moodle.
- Acemoglu, Daron and Robinson, James (2006), Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Boix, Carles (2003), Democracy and Redistribution, New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Ansell, Ben and Samuels, David (2014), Inequality and Democratization: An Elite-Competition Approach, Cambridge University Press.
- Dahl, Robert A. (1971), Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition, New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Lijphart, Arend (1977), Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration, New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Moore, Barrington, Jr. (1966), Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, Cambridge: Beacon Press.
- North, Douglass and Weingast, Barry (1989), “Constitutions and Commitment: Evolution of the Institutions Governing Public Choice in 17th Century England”, Journal of Economic History, 49, 803-832.
- Przeworski, Adam, Alvarez, Michael, Cheibub, Jose, and Limongi, Fernando (2000), Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well Being in the World, 1950- 1990, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Teaching materials
  • Slideshow of each session
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Minor in Human and Social Sciences

Approfondissement 'Principes de maîtrise de l'actualité'

Minor in Political Sciences

Master [120] in Public Administration

Bachelor in Political Sciences: General

Master [120] in Political Sciences: General

Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Master [60] in Political Sciences: General

Master [120] in Political Sciences: International Relations