Nenad Dimitrijevic
Spring 1995
Department of Political Science

Course Description

The aim of this course is to offer an analysis of some of most important features of contemporary democracies. Comparative Democratic Government will be concerned with values, concepts, processes, institutions and behavior present in more than one democratic system. We will search for those patterns, similarities and differences among democratic polities that help clarify their basic structure and functioning.

Through comparative empirical exploration of different democratic practices and through their theoretical explanations, we will try to show that modern democracy is neither exclusively Western, nor predominantly academic concept: East-Central European countries need democracy as an indispensable condition for the peaceful stabilization and development of their societies after decades of communism.

1. Some Basic Concepts.
(politics and policy; government; political power; political system)

Mandatory readings:
1. S.Finer, Comparative Government, Harmondsworth, 1978, p. 3-27.
2. D.Easton, The Analysis of Political System; In: C.Marcridis/B.Brown(eds), Comparative Politics, Homewood, 1968, p. 86-96.

2. Constitutionalism as Normative Framework of Democracy: Concept, Values, Principles.
(liberty, equality, community; limited government; rule of law, separation of powers; legitimacy and legality constitution)

Mandatory readings:
1. F. von Hayek, Constitution of Liberty, London, 1990, p. 176-193.
2. D. Beetham, The Legitimation of Power, London, 1991, p.126-150.

3. Representation and Parliament.
(meaning and nature of political representation; unicameralism and bicameralism; do parliaments matter: constitutional position vs. effective role)

Mandatory readings:
1. J.C.Whalke, Policy Demands and System Support: the Role of the Represented; In: P.Norton (ed.), Legislatures, Oxford, 1990, p. 97-123.
2. Y.Meny, Government and Politics in Western Europe, Oxford, 1994, p. 187-229.

4. Parliamentary Government.
(main characteristics, formation and performance; case study: German parliamentarianism)

Mandatory Readings:
1. G.B.Powell, Contemporary Democracies, Cambridge Mass. 1982, p. 133-151
2. A.King, Modes of Executive-Legislative Relations; In: P.Norton, Legislatures, Oxford), 1990, p. 209-236.

5. Presidential Government.
(main characteristics; formation and performance; case study: American presidentialism)

Mandatory readings:
1. M.S.Shugart/J.M.Carey, Presidents and Assemblies, Cambridge, 1992, p.19-22; 28-49.
2. Committee on the Constitutional System, A Bicentennial Analysis of the American Political Structure; In: A.Lijphart (ed.), Parliamentary Versus Presidential Government, Oxford, 1992, p. 79-89.

6. Parliamentary vs. Presidential Government. Semi-Presidentialism as the "Third Way?
(comparison of two governmental forms: democratic legitimacy, stability, efficiency; main features of semi-presidentialism, case study: France)

Mandatory readings:
1. M.S.Shugart/J.S Carey, Presidents and Assemblies, Cambridge, 1992, p. 1-14.
2. A.Lijphart: Introduction; p. 1-27.
3. Ch. de Gaulle, The Bayeux Manifesto, p.139-141.
4. M.Duverger, A New Political System Model: Semi-Presidential Government, p. 143-149. (texts 2, 3 and 4 In: A.Lijphart (ed.), Parliamentary Versus Presidential Government, Oxford, 1992)
5. E.N. Suleiman, Presidentialism and Political Stability In France, In: J.J.Linz/A.Venezuela (eds), The Failure of Presidential Democracy; Baltimore, 1994, p.137-162.

7. Territorial Division of Powers: Democratic Federalism.
(origins, notion, main characteristics of federalism, federalism and democracy, federalism and rights)

Mandatory readings:
1. K C.Wheare, Federal Government, London, 1963, p. 1-14; 35-52.
2. A G .Gagnon, The Political Uses of Federalism; In: M.Burgess/A.G.Gagnon (eds), Comparative Federalism and Federation, Hemel Hampstead, 1992, p. 15-39.

8. Democracy in Plural Societies.
(pre-political divisions and political consequences; minorities and their protection; heterogeneity and consensus, consociational democracy)

Mandatory readings:
1. A.Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies, New Haven, 1977, p.1-16
2. A.Lijphart, Democracies, New Haven, 1984, p.21-36.

9. Constitutionalism and Legitimacy Revisited.
(conflicting relationships among dimensions of governmental performance; "ungovernability"; legitimation problems and crisis tendencies)

Mandatory readings:
1. R.Dahrendorf, Effectiveness and Legitimacy: On the "Governability" of Democracies, "Political Quarterly", 393/1980, p.393-409.
2. D. Held, Political Theory and the Modern State, Cambridge, 1989, p.99-154.

10. Decision-Making Outside Government: Corporatism.
(public status of interest groups; new political rationality; corporatism in Germany and Austria)

Mandatory readings:
1. C.Offe, The Attribution of Public Status to Interest Groups; In: Disorganized Capitalism, Cambridge, 1985, p. 221-258.
2. M.Gallagher et al (eds), Representative Government in Western Europe, New York, 1992, p. 239-262.

11. Democracy Beyond State?
(state and global order: is sovereignty "withering away"; transnational regionalism: European Community)

Mandatory readings:
1. J.H.Weiler, Parliamentary Democracy In Europe 1992: Tentative Questions and Answers; In: D.Greenberg et al (eds), Constitutionalism and Democracy, Oxford, 1993, p. 249-263.
2. E.J.Kirchner, The European Community: A Transnational Democracy?; In: I.Budge/D.McKay, (eds), Developing Democracy, London, 1994, p. 253-265.

Active participation at each weekly seminar is expected of every student in the course. A mid-term essay and a f1nal essay are required. Grading will depend on these three factors in the following way:

Participation at seminars: 30%
Mid-term essay: 30%
Final essay: 40%

CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: July, 1996


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