Translation of the Swedish course syllabus 
Democratic Theory, 7.5 credits
(Demokratiteori, 7,5 högskolepoäng)
Course code: 1110ST
Subject area: Political Science
Main field of study: Political Science
Academic school: School of Social Sciences
Disciplinary domain: Social Sciences 100%
Grading scale: AF
Education cycle: Second-cycle (Master)
Progressive specialisation: A1N (Second cycle. Entry requirements: completed first-cycle course/s)
Language of instruction: English
Valid from: HT 2019 (autumn semester)

1. Validation

This course syllabus was validated by the Faculty Board for Social Sciences at Södertörn University on 2019-04-01 according to the stipulations in the Higher Education Ordinance.

2. Entry requirements

English B and a Bachelor's degree including 90 credits in Political Science or the equivalent.

3. Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student is able to:

  • orally and in writing demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of democratic theory, in relation to the wider field of political theory and key concepts such as justice and political community, and other sub-disciplines of political science

  • orally and in writing demonstrate a heightened awareness of the research context, i.e. familiarity with the major positions on some of the central issues in democratic theory, such as the value of democracy and political participation, and potential trade-offs between democracy and other central values

  • orally and in writing construct arguments in relation to the literature and by applying concepts and normative views in democratic theory to issues and debates in political life

  • orally and in writing discuss and critique normative positions on the ideal of democracy and its implications, and related core issues in political theory.

  • 4. Course content, modules and examinations

    This course explores the conceptual and normative foundations of democracy, the meaning of democratic government, and criteria for referring to political orders as democratic. The relationship between democratic ideals and other values and goals - like just distribution, conflict resolution, recognition of special identities, notions of the good life, and theories of human rights - is interrogated. Is a state of too much democracy conceivable or are we to assume that more democracy is always preferable? The course furthermore deals with classical democratic theories of citizenship, presupposing the existence of clearly demarcated nation-states and patriotism, as well as cosmopolitan theoretical alternatives. Traditional principles of democratic consensualism and the common good are critically explored in relation to notions of democracy as antagonism. Evaluation of traditional notions of democracy as political community and societal norm-giver is opened up further to also include discussions of economical and workplace democracy.

    Following an introduction to core ideas of democratic theory - including crucial democratic concepts, essential methodological perspectives, and normative structures - the course examines various core themes of democracy, such as the meaning of democratic participation, how to conceive of democratic equality and virtue in relation to other values, to rationality, to conflict, and to the role played by notions of the common good. The course furthermore addresses the links between democracy, boundaries, and nation-statehood.

    • Democratic Theory, 7,5 credits
      (Demokratiteori, 7.5 högskolepoäng)

    • 1001, Democratic Theory, 7,5 credits
      (Demokratiteori, 7.5 högskolepoäng)
      Grades permitted: A/B/C/D/E/F
      Academic discipline: Social Sciences 100%

    5. Course design

    The course is taught through seminars. To achieve the course objectives, a selection of recent and classical works in democratic theory are examined.

    6. Examination format

    The course is assessed by active seminar participation, including written assignments, and a paper on a chosen topic.

    Absence from at most two seminars can be compensated for by the completion of written exercises.
     The grading criteria are distributed prior to the start of a course or module.

    If a student has a certificate for compensatory support from Södertörn University, the examiner may decide on an adapted examination or alternative examination form in accordance with Södertörn University's regulations.

    7. Reading list

    If there are changes in the reading list between semesters, a new list for the next semester is to be validated no later than July 15 and December 15 respectively.
    Valid from Valid to Decision date Decision board
    HT 20192019-05-22Ämnesrådet för statsvetenskap

    8. Restrictions on accreditation

    The course may not be accredited as part of a degree if the contents are partly or wholly the same as a course previously taken in Sweden or elsewhere.

    9. Other stipulations
    The course may not be accredited as part of a degree if the contents are partly or wholly the same as a course previously taken in Sweden or elsewhere.