Democratisation & State Transformation

Nelson Mandela University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Democratisation & State Transformation

  • Host University

    Nelson Mandela University

  • Location

    Port Elizabeth, South Africa

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Democracy and democratic citizenship forms the foundation of modern political life. From the 1970s many states has engaged in regime change processes towards democracy. This module is essential in any qualification in political science as it deals with state transformation and democratization. The module address issues surrounding defining democracy, processes of democratization, authoritarian regime deterioration, democratic consolidation, and the relationship between state and civil society. This module provides the theoretical foundation of democratisation studies. This allows the student to make informed assessments and predict the possibility of democratic consolidation and challenges to democratic consolidation in any given context.

    On completion of this module, the students are expected to:
    -provide an accurate definition of ?democracy? as a political concept and its associated concepts of liberty, justice, and equality;
    -provide an overview various interpretations of democracy based on the concepts associated with democracy;
    -identify the universal appeal toward the concept of political democracy and its impact on the state, government and civil society;
    -critically explain the history of ?democracy?: the waves of democracy;
    -provide evidence illustrating his/her understanding of the theoretical approaches to democratization;
    -provide evidence of illustrating his/her understanding of authoritarian regime deterioration and its subsequent implications for democratization;
    -provide an overview of the concept of consolidation of democracy and its various interpretations;
    -identify and illustrate the distinguishing factors between liberal democracy and other variations within the discourse of political studies;
    -explain the role of civil society in the consolidation of a democracy;
    -describe the concept of citizenship in relation to democracy.

    This module comprises various units which focus on the basic political principles, assumptions and processes which are inherent in democratization and state transformation in a modern state. The main areas covered are:
    -the nature of a ?democratic? order and the concept of ?democracy?;
    -the history of democracy and the various waves of democracy;
    -the main approaches to democratization;
    -democratic consolidation;
    -citizen participation and the role of civil society;
    -what is democratic citizenship

    Evaluation criteria

    The method of assessment for this course will consist of two one-hour tests and one written essay. Each test constitutes 25% of the class mark. The written essay constitutes 50% of the class mark. The class mark constitutes 50% of the final mark, and the examination mark constitutes the other 50%. You need to obtain a sub-minimum of 40% in order to qualify for the examination. A sub-minimum of 40% is required to the pass the examination.


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