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Global Democracy and the Nation State


Admission requirements

Admission to one of the following programmes is required:

  • MA Philosophy 60 EC: PPE, or Ethics and Politics

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: Philosophy of Law, or Philosophy of Political Science


This course analyses the meaning and significance of democracy in the contemporary world. We will consider both the variety of democratic ideals as they have developed in the history of political thought and contemporary challenges posed by globalization. Questions that are likely to come up include: Is democracy all about elections, or does it require deeper forms of participation? What is democratic representation? What would it mean to democratize global forms of governance? The reading list will contain a mix of classic theories of democracy and recent discussions.

Course objectives

This course aims to give students an understanding of the most important strands of democratic theory and some of the challenges these theories face in the contemporary world.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of :

  • the most important strands of democratic theory;

  • some of the challenges these theories face in the contemporary world.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • critically analyse recent literature in democratic theory;

  • identify, articulate and critically assess key concepts and arguments in this area.


The timetable is available on the MA Philosophy website
MA Philosophy 60 EC, or MA Philosophy 120 EC

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hrs = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars (14 weeks x 2 hours): 28 hours

  • Studying the compulsory literature: 120 hours

  • Completing assignments and papers: 132 hours

Assessment method

  • Presentation, participation, and weekly discussion notes (10%)

  • Midterm paper (max. 1000 words) (30%)

  • Final paper (max. 4000 words) (60%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests (midterm paper, final paper). A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.

Attendance and class participation is a mandatory requirement for taking the tests or resit.


One resit will be offered, covering the entire course content and consisting of a paper. The grade will replace previously earned grades for subtests. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • announcements

  • posting of course materials.

Reading list

To be announced.


Enrolment for courses and exams through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for and exams in the column under the heading “uSis-Actnbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. T. Fossen


Not applicable.