The Road to Democracy in Portugal, Greece and Spain (in English)

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Road to Democracy in Portugal, Greece and Spain (in English)

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    History, International Studies, 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    Course Description

    During the second half of the 1970's, Southern Europe inaugurated the "third wave of democratization." This course approaches that crucial period of Portuguese, Greek and Spanish history with a comparative methodology. The course will analyze the nature of authoritarian regimes and democracy, as well as the transition to and consolidation of democracies.

    Course Goals and Methodology

    By the end of the semester, students will be familiar with the history of democratic ideas, s.a. democracy's ultimate nature and value. Secondly, to understand the origins, development and consolidation of democratic governments, including the various forms of such governments throughout history. Lastly, to identify and analyze different factors, actors and historical processes which led to democratic governments in Southern Europe.

    Students will come prepared to classed with assigned readings and homework.

    Class time will alternate lectures, debates, group discussions, documentaries, etc.

    Learning Objectives

    Through this course, students will:

    • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of central themes (democratization, varieties of political regimes, democratic performance, democratic institutions), theories (democratic theory, theory of regime consolidation, theory of regime change), in the study of political regimes and regime change.
    • Become familiar with foundational literature (classic and contemporary research) as well as developments in the scholarly literature within the field of study concerning democracy and democratization.
    • Demonstrate knowledge concerning the role played by and the impact of democracy and democratization throughout history as well as the role played by democracy and political regime change in contemporary societies studied cross-nationally.
    • Build upon knowledge and literature studied in order to develop further research in the area of democracy and democratization, applying theories, concepts, data, and methods studied in this course.
    • Develop insights into the key issues regarding political regimes, democratization, regime stability, democratic quality and performance that are relevant for understanding and consulting on political systems in the world today.
    • Be familiar with new ways of studying and understanding political regimes and the institutional design of new democracies from past as well as contemporary history

    Required Texts

    Selection of readings from various works (*) available in Blackboard.  

    • Anderson, L. (ed.), Transitions to Democracy, New York: Columbia University Press, 1999

    • Buchanan, T., Europe's Troubled Peace, 1945-2000, Oxford, Blackwell's, 2006.

    • *Grugel, J. and Bishop, M.L., Democratization: A Critical Introduction, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014 (2nd ed.).

    • Huntington, S., The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Norman OK, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

    • *Judt, T., Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, London, Penguin Press, 2005.

    • Linz, J. and A. Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation. Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, Baltimore MD, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

    • Maravall, J.M., Regimes, Politics and Markets: Democratization and Economic change in Southern and Eastern Europe, London, Oxford UP, 1997.

    • O'Donnell, G., P. Schmitter, L. Whitehead, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Southern Europe, Baltimore MD, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.

    • Sorensen, G., Democracy and Democratization: Processes and Prospects in a changing World, San Francisco, Westview, 1993. 

    Course Requirements and Grading

    Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

    • Participation (10%)

    • Mid-term Exam (25%)

    • Mid-term Paper (20%)

    • Final Paper (20%)

    • Final Exam (25%) 

    Course Contents

    1. Introduction.

    2. Democracy, Democratization, and Consolidation.

    3. Democratization in Historical Perspective. Theories of Democratization.

    4. Factors in democratization: The State, Civil Society, and Globalization.

    5. Southern Europe in the 19th Century. Economy, Society and Culture.

    6. Southern Europe in the 20th Century. Economy, Society and Culture.

    7. Case Study 1, Portugal (Film "Capitães de abril" by Ricardo Passos, 2000).

    8. Case Study 2, Greece (Film "Z" by Costa-Gavras, 1969).

    9. Case Study 3, Francoism and Democratization in Spain (Film “23F” by Chema de la  Peña, 2011)

    10. Models of Transition and Model Transitions.

    11. Consolidation of Democracy in Southern Europe.

    12. Shortcomings and Accomplishments of Southern European Democratization. 


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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