College of Arts and Science
Why did the Arab Spring happen? Will China survive or collapse? Did North Korea’s new dictator Kim Jong Un really execute his old girlfriend? Throughout history, the majority of the world’s regimes have been dictatorships rather than democracies. This course is an introduction to the causes and character of contemporary authoritarian and democratic regimes: how and why they are created, why they survive, why people resist dictatorship or don’t, and why regimes survive or fall. We will use academic articles, news stories, and films to study dictatorship and democracy. You will come away from this course with an understanding of the major theoretical debates about dictatorship and democracy, and how these debates apply to important countries and issues in the world today.