Regime Change and Altered States

Course code POLI2170Units 10Level 2000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Business School

Looks at the politics of regime change. It explores how and why some regimes change, whether from authoritarian to democratic states, or the other way around, or some other permutation. The various pathways of regime change are considered and their institutional and political preconditions scrutinized. The puzzle of the coexistence of authoritarian regimes with modern economies will be addressed. The course will also consider the influence of proximity of target regime types (usually democracy), and some larger questions surrounding the adequacy of present formulations of what constitutes a democracy.

Not available to students who have already passed or are currently enrolled in POLI3170.

Not available in 2015

Objectives1. To understand the prevailing patterns of political system transformation in the world, with an emphasis on recent transformations.
2. To appreciate the complexity of relationships between political system, socioeconomic structure, and institutions.
3. To gain a critical awareness of the uses of scores and rankings in the evaluation of democracy and legitimacy.
4. To fully understand the distinction between transition to democracy and democratic consolidation.
5. To gain an awareness of and ability to assess critically the theoretical and methodological debates in comparative political science and international relations.
6. To develop an understanding of key Social Science concepts and theories and acquire research skills to enable critical evaluation of the reliability, validity and efficacy of information, opinions and arguments.
7. To provide an understanding of and practice in oral and written communication skills.
ContentThe course content will be drawn from but not restricted to:
1. Discussion of key concepts such as "regime change", "the state", democratization, consolidation, bureaucratic authoritarianism, legitimacy, civil society.
2. Conceptual understanding of regime change theories: modernization, transition theory, structural approaches .
3. Case studies of instances of regime change, especially in Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa.
4. Consolidation problems and military coups.
5. Impacts of economic change, insurgency movements, populism.
Replacing Course(s)Not applicable.
TransitionNone needed
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge10 units in Politics at 1000 level or equivalent
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsTwo essays.
Examination: FormalFinal exam.
Other: (please specify)Essential Criteria: Students must pass the exam to pass the Course.
Tutorial Attendance: Students must attend 10 out of 13 tutorials. Failure to do so without due cause will attract a penalty of 5%.
Contact HoursTutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Lecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term