Democratic Challenges – University of Copenhagen

Political Theory > MSc Specialization > Democratic Challenges

Democratic Challenges (7,5 ETCS)

The aim of this course is to provide an in-depth analysis of the main challenges to democratic government in Europe and elsewhere. To what extent has traditional representative democracy become an inadequate mode of government, and how do pressing issues such as multiculturalism, democratic deficits, inequality, and climate change encourage us to rethink the very idea of democracy?

The first part of course will examine these questions with a focus on new theories of democracy. The second part of the course will turn to actual political issues in order to further advance the discussion of democratic government in the 21st century. Among the topics to be discussed are tolerance, security, free speech, populism, new global social movements, and climate change.

Democratic Challenges meets for two hours each week during the semester. The course is required for students enrolled in the Specialization in Political Theory.


Readings may include:

Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things.

Brown, Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in an Age of Identity and Empire.

Connolly, The Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neo-Liberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism.

Dean, The Communist Horizon.

Forst, Toleration in Conflict.

Robin, The Reactionary Mind.

Pettit, Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government.