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POLS 240

Contemporary Political Ideologies

The underlying theme of this course is the contemporary crisis of liberal democracy. We are witnessing the phenomenon of a gradual shift away from democracy to authoritarianism, democratic backsliding, in countries from Russia, Brazil, and Hungary, to Turkey, India, and the United States. Is democracy dying? Are we witnessing the end of the democratic century and the global ascendance of autocracy? Is American democracy in danger? What will democratic failure look like in the twenty-first century? And what will come after? Will the ethno-nationalist and far right parties in Europe and elsewhere continue to rise? Why is there extreme polarization in political discourse in mature democracies? Is the proliferation of conspiracy theory, which is anti-ideological, a threat to liberal democracy? Why does the Chinese autocratic model appeal to the peoples and leaders in the developing world? Is the notion of democratic decline around the world an exaggeration or scholarly hyperventilation? The course will answer these and other questions by examining the forces that have contributed to the regression of liberal democracy. In particular, we will focus on the ideologies challenging liberal democracy: Globalism, 'Neo-Fascism,' Populism, Nationalism, and Asian authoritarianism (Xi's new type of one-party authoritarian system).

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Social Science 1 course