235-s13 – Week 2

Week 2 – May 20 – Democratization and Political Change

· Larry Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy (St Martin’s, 2009)
·  A Whisper to a Roar (dvd or amazon instant video), Ben Moses, director (Virgil Films, 2012)

JOIN  If you haven’t already, be sure to join the course’s facebook group: – See Bb announcement for details.

MY NOTES  Please see the lecture notes at https://govt396.com/235-summer13/235-s13-week-2/235-s13-notes-for-week-2/

Begin with the background notes, from slides 1 through 21.  Then do the readings, then go back to the rest of the slides.

READINGS    This week has a series of background notes that you probably want to review before doing the readings.  Review slides 1-21.  Then begin with our text:

Larry Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (New York: Holt, 2008)

This is one of the larger reading assignments.  You want to read all of Part I – that is, pages 1-170.  But don’t worry: you want to read carefully the intro and chapters 1-3 (pages 1-87).  Even with small print, it is not very difficult reading.  Notice that each chapter has a number of sections; read each section together, think about it, and move on.  You can skim the rest (chapters 4-6): there are good notes on them in the next slides.

WATCH  A Whisper to a Roar.  This is the film Larry Diamond and others put together, to illustrate in a lively, timely way the many concepts at work in the study of democratization.  There is no discussion of political science or Aristotle or Tocqueville or Lipset.  Instead, it shows five current democratization / popular movements under way.  It is your job to bring the knowledge from our readings to the dramatis personae in the film.

NEWS LINK – By Wednesday night, May 22   Post a news story entirely of your choosing, but probably at least vaguely related to the “dynamics of political change,” to our facebook group page.  It can be local, national, or international.  Try to get a news story that we may not have all already seen, or an unfamiliar perspective on a familiar topic, etc.   Be sure to provide a short comment on the link – probably 10-30 words – that will help us understand why you posted it or your reflections on it.  See instructions in the text of the syllabus above on what constitutes good commentary here.

QUIZ  Complete the short quiz on Blackboard by Wednesday night, May 22

ESSAY POST – by Wednesday night, May 22   Please follow the instructions in the Week 2 tab at https://govt396.com/235-summer13/235-s13-week-2/235-s13-essay-posts-week-2/ – it will ask you to reply to a question on the reading(s) and/or videos of the week.  Your post will be approximately 250-300 words.

NEWS REPLY – by Thursday night, May 23  On our facebook group page, briefly reply to at least one of your classmates’ news links.

ESSAY REPLY – by Friday night, May 24   On the Govt396.com site, reply to at least one of your classmates’ Essay Posts.  You want to be thoughtful, insightful, etc.  You can certainly take a different perspective, or ask questions, or build.  You should not merely criticize: “that’s stupid,” or “you have that entirely wrong,” or “what are you, a RedSox fan?,” or worse, is not constructive.  Your comment should be less than 100 words.

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