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Democratic Consolidation and Erosion


Admission requirements

Participation in the seminar is only permitted if the propaedeutic phase has been passed (60 EC).


While waves of democratization in the last quarter of the twentieth century have brought democratic freedoms to countries and regions across the globe, democracy today appears very vulnerable. Optimism that democracy would spread to all corners of the globe have recently made place for concerns that democracies that once appeared consolidated are now sliding back into authoritarianism. This course concentrates on these phenomena, studying processes of democratization, consolidation and democratic erosion. We will pay attention to core theories and concepts as well as global historical patterns, and analyze empirical the development and erosion of across the globe.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students are expected to:

  • be familiar with the academic literature on democratic consolidation and erosion, including accompanying concepts and discussions, and have knowledge of selected empirical case studies;

  • be able to provide an informed and analytical contribution to discussions about the consolidation and erosion of contemporary democracies, in both oral and written form.

Mode of Instruction

Seminars, close reading, group discussions, group work, individual student presentations and papers.

Course Load


Assessment Method

The final grade consists of a midterm (group) paper (35%), a final paper (45%) and student participation (20%).

Reading List

A selection of chapters and journal articles available via the (digital) Leiden University library.


See 'Practical Information'


See 'MyTimetable'