Democracy in Western Europe

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Course Information
Political Science
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

It is highly recommended that students have a familiarity with some of the themes that will be covered by the course. Hence, it is mandatory to have taken at least introductory classes of political science on: American Politics, Electoral Politics, Contemporary European History, Comparative Politics or the European Union. The course is addressed to those majoring in political science.


This comparative politics course discusses the most important features of the Western European Democracies. It is designed in four independent but complementary parts. The first part will introduce contemporary theoretical and analytical perspectives on the meaning, foundation and the present situation of democracy. Next, the macro context out of which modern European democracies emerged will be established. The third part will examine the most important element of representative democracy: elections. The final part of the course will focus on welfare state models with a particular emphasis on the differences between European and U.S. perspectives. By the end of the course, students should be able to make precise comparisons between the features of European countries and/or the U.S. on any of the topics in the syllabus

Complete Course Syllabus: