Course catalogue

Name202F20 To the Defence of Democracy: (How) Can Democracies Defend Themselves?
Language Engelsk
Course levelKandidat
Department Institut for Statskundskab
Related educations
Course code431192U053
TeacherTore Vincents Olsen
Course type Tomplads Ordinær Udveksling
FacultyAarhus BSS
Course catalogue id98371

Description of qualifications:

<p>Democracies are based on openness, free speech and equal democratic rights. But how can democracies respond to political actors who are against democracy (political extremists) or who have problematic views of key elements of liberal democracy such as human rights and the rule of law (certain types of populists)?</p> <p>For democracy the dilemma is that some responses to the perceived threats from the above type of actors entail a reduction of the openness, free speech and equal democratic rights and thus seem to fly in the face of democracy&#8217;s own core principles. Classic examples are bans on certain types of political parties and political propaganda.</p> <p>The seminar looks at classic as well as current discussions of this problem. It will study different means to oppose anti-liberal democratic forces. Some of these are <em>legal</em> such as propaganda and party bans. But others are <em>political</em> such as the exclusion of certain parties from political influence (cordon sanitaire) or &#8211; reversely &#8211; their cooptation by mainstream parties in order to induce ideological moderation. Yet other means are <em>cultural</em> such as civic education and public support of liberal democratic civil society organisations or <em>socio-economic</em> such as policies that should ensure socio-economic conditions for citizens that will make them less likely to support&#160; non-liberal democratic views and parties. The seminar will furthermore ask what the proper roles are for citizens, different state powers (executive, legislature, judiciary) and external actors such as other states, supra- and international organisations in the defence of democracy. Throughout the seminar, we will discuss the extent to which these different strategies and means have proved effective as well as whether they are normatively permissible from the viewpoint of democratic theory.</p> <p>The seminar is based on normative political theory, but is also relevant for students who are interested in empirical questions such as what measures are effective in countering anti-liberal democratic movements and parties.</p> The exam is an oral exam based on a synopsis (very short essay) in which the students individually formulate a problem they wants to discuss in light of the seminar&#8217;s literature. Teaching will be based on plenary and group discussions and have among its key aims to generate topics and possible problems for exam synopses. Students are all expected to be active participants in the seminar&#8217;s discussions.


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