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Contact Details:                                                                                                                                                2


Course Synopsis:                                                                                                                              2


Required Reading                                                                                                                            4


Class Schedule                                                                                                                                  5


Assignments:                                                                                                                                     6

Assignment 1: Diagnostics (30%)                                                                               7

Assignment 2: Analysis of Policy Options (30%)                                                  8

Assignment 3: Regional Case-Study Group Presentations (30%)                 8

4. Class Participation (10%)                                                                                          8


Detailed Schedule, Readings and Topics                                                                                                9

Section I                                                                                                                               9

Section II                                                                                                                             10

Section III                                                                                                                            11


Contact Details:

Class time:                             Mondays and Wednesdays 10.10 to 11.30am

Class place:                           RG 20

First class:                              Wednesday 1st Sept 2010

Last class:                              Wednesday 1st Dec 2010

Lecturer:                               Pippa Norris, McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics

Office:                                    Littauer 110, Kennedy School of Government

Office Hours:                        Tuesdays 2.00-4.00pm (Sign-up sheet on the door)
Fax:                                         (617) 496 2850

Cell:                                        (857) 445 9105

Class website:                       www.pippanorris.com under ‘classes’  

Weblog:                                 http://pippanorris.typepad.com/

Course Assistants:                Chenie Yoon 

CA email:                               chenie_yoon@hks11.harvard.edu

Faculty Assistant:                 Camiliakumari Wankaner

Office:                                    Littauer 201 Tel: (617) 495 5994 Fax: (617) 496 6372

Email:                                     Camiliakumari_Wankaner@harvard.edu

Assessment:                          Course assignments, no exam


Aims and objectives:

This course provides insights into why democratic governance matters, discusses performance indicators and analytical benchmarks, compares strategies used by a range of development agencies, and applies policy recommendations to specific cases. It covers the core principles, analytical theories, practical tools, and applied methods useful for understanding democratic governance.

The primary aims of the course are policy advocacy, analysis, implementation and evaluation. That is, you will sharpen your understanding of the core principles and also develop practical policy recommendations designed to strengthen the institutions and processes of democratic governance. You will consider how best to implement these recommendations and also become familiar with benchmarks and indicators suitable to evaluate the impact of any intervention.

The course will use a broadly comparative methodology incorporating large-N quantitative econometric and survey evidence, combined with qualitative evidence from a wide range of case studies of autocracies and democracies.  This class uses discussion exercises and team-based collective presentations. Shared class datasets are also available as an option for assignments. There are no prerequisites for taking the class but some familiarity with Stata or SPSS is highly recommended.

The course is most suitable for those considering careers in the international development community, whether working in a foreign affairs or development ministry, consulate or mission for a national government or bilateral donor agency, an NGO or reform think tank, or with careers in a multilateral or international organization such as the World Bank or UNDP.



In 2000, the world’s governments pledged to achieve the principles of the Millennium Declaration, including the intrinsic value of freedom for human development: “Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice. Democratic and participatory governance based on the will of the people best assures these rights.” The 2005 UN World Summit outcome document reaffirmed the commitment to “democracy as a universal value.” As well as an intrinsic development goal, leaders at the global summit further recognized the instrumental consequences, namely: “…that good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are essential for sustained economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.”

Reflecting these commitments, international organizations and bilateral donors have collaborated with national stakeholders to strengthen processes and institutions of democratic governance. This includes UN agencies led by the UNDP and the World Bank, regional organizations such as the EU, OAS, and African Union, bilateral donors such as NORAD, CIDA and Dfid, and a host of NGOs such as International IDEA, Amnesty International, IFES, and NDI.

Agencies seek to strengthen democratic governance for its own sake, as an integral part of people determining their own lives in human development, as well as for the broader impact upon economic development and human welfare. Effective state institutions reflecting the principles and values of democratic governance, such as accountability, transparency, and rule of law, are widely thought to encourage and complement the activities of the private and non-profit sectors, allowing markets to flourish and people to live healthier, happier lives. Democratic governance aims to develop institutions and processes that are more responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens, including the poor, women, and minorities. Moreover, democratic governance is believed to promote international peace and cooperation, reducing the causes of conflict and violence between and within states. Rebuilding fragile states emerging from civil war and international conflict is also thought to reduce the dangers of terrorism and improve human security.

The international community has focused its programs on three main areas of intervention. Assistance has flowed into attempts to foster and expand inclusive democratic participation in civic society by supporting processes of free and fair elections, as well as nurturing grassroots organizations, advocacy NGOs, opposition movements and parties, and the independent news media.  Aid has also been devoted to rebuilding governance capacity through strengthening the rule of law and independent judiciaries, effective legislatures, public sector management, and local governance. Lastly, resources have also been invested in attempts to strengthen the principles and values of the international community, including human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The diverse range of strategies used to strengthen democratic governance often involve  capacity development - exemplified by providing technical assistance and financial aid; sharing knowledge about best practices, international cooperation, and policy expertise; supporting skills training; and promoting dialogue about political reform and social audits of government performance. Actors can also deploy the techniques of ‘hard’ power, such as setting, monitoring, and enforcing standards through international conventions and legal agreements; allocating development aid based on conditional or incentive-based criteria; monitoring and enforcing peace-building settlements; and using security council sanctions, trade sanctions, or military interventions to prevent human rights abuses or to promote democracy more aggressively.

In this regard, the techniques employed by UN agencies, multilateral organizations, bilateral foreign ministries, international foundations, and by cause-based international think tanks will vary significantly, depending upon their roles and resources, as well as the type of regime they are seeking to influence. For example, what Human Right Watch, the UNDP, and NORAD or CIDA can each do to shape democratic processes and human rights in Liberia, Benin or the DRC will be very different, but each can play a complimentary role.

How far have these development goals been achieved?

Since the early-1970s, the ‘third wave’ of democratization has seen a substantial surge in the number of electoral democracies worldwide. Despite significant gains, many traps remain. The primary challenge facing many states concerns establishing, deepening, and strengthening the quality of democratic institutions and processes. This is particularly important at a time when many observers emphasize that popular disillusionment with the performance of democratically-elected governments is becoming evident in Central Europe and Latin America. The international community also needs to counter an active push-back against human rights and fundamental freedoms by countries such as China, Russia, and Venezuela.  Moreover many autocracies persist, whether military-backed dictatorships (Burma), authoritarian regimes (Belarus, North Korea), elitist one-party oligarchies (Zimbabwe, Togo), or absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia). Major challenges confront attempts at building peace and stable nation-states in societies emerging from recent deep-rooted conflict, such as Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, Time-Leste, and Iraq. The process of political development and democratization therefore remains deeply flawed and incomplete in many countries.

The structure and organization of the course

To understand these issues, the course divides into three sections:

Part I (Overview, introduction and advocacy): what are the general factors leading towards democratization? What are the normative arguments why democratic governance is regarded as an intrinsic component of human development and what is its instrumental relationship with economic growth, social welfare, and peace?

Part II (analytics) supplies the analytical concepts, diagnostic tools, and empirical benchmarks suitable for conducting a needs assessment evaluating the quality of democratic governance in any state or region. 

Part III (policy options) considers the underlying reforms available for strengthening democratic governance and the organizations which have concentrated their resources and programs in each area. Teams focus upon regional case studies to apply the tools, to analyze the challenges for democratic governance, and to recommend major options for institutional reform. The conclusion draws together the core lessons of democratic governance for the policy community.


You should purchase the following book for the class. Other articles can be downloaded from the library. No packets will be used from CMO.

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Ronald F. Inglehart and Christian Welzel.  2009. Democratization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Referred to afterwards as Haerpfer et al Democratization).  Paperback $43.55 from Amazon. ISBN-10: 0199233020 / ISBN-13: 9780199233021

Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy: Do Power-Sharing Institutions Work? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Paperback $20.49 from Amazon ISBN-10: 0521694809/ ISBN-13: 978-0521694803.

Note that the DOI is the static address of articles. Type this into your browser search and this should link directly to the article source. You will need to login first to the Harvard system to get full access and download.

The supplementary selected bibliography and the list of online resources will be distributed in the second class as a resource to supplement the core (required) readings for your assignments. Further copies and all related materials are available for download via the class website at www.pippanorris.com

Class Schedule 2010:




Due dates (i)



Part I: Introduction, overview and advocacy



Wed 1 Sept

Introduction: Roadmap of the course



Mon 6th Sept

No class: Labor day



Wed 8 Sept

Analytical framework explaining democratization



Mon 13 Sept

Applying the framework: Why are there no Arab democracies?



Wed 15 Sept

Impact of democratic governance on economic growth and social welfare



Mon 20 Sept

Impact of democratic governance upon peace and conflict 




Part II: Analytics: Diagnostics, benchmarks and indicators



Wed 22 Sept

Overview: Alternative concepts of democratic governance



Mon 28 Sept

Introduction to using the QoG and shared class datasets



Wed 29 Sept

Measuring democracy: Freedom House and Polity IV



Mon 4 Oct

Measuring governance: WBI Kaufmann-Kraay



Wed 6 Oct

Utilizing the shared CS-TS class datasets (Applied Lab session #1)*



Mon 11th Oct

No class: Columbus day



Wed 13 Oct

Survey indicators and democratic audits: WVS



Mon 18 Oct

Utilizing the shared CS-TS class datasets (Applied Lab session #2)*




Part III: Options: reform strategies and agencies



Wed 20 Oct

The role of the UN, regional organizations and bilateral donors



Mon 25 Oct

Constitution-building in peace-building processes: International IDEA



Wed 27 Oct




Mon 1 Nov

Elections: ACE/International IDEA



Wed 3 Nov

Elections: ACE/International IDEA



Mon 8 Nov




Wed 10 Nov

Parliaments, parties, and women’s empowerment: the Inter-parliamentary Union



Mon 15 Nov

Public administration reform, local governance, and anti-corruption: Transparency International



Wed 17 Nov




Mon 22 Nov

Civil society, social capital and the news media: Committee to Protect Journalists and the Open Society Institute



Wed 24 Nov

Human rights, justice, and rule of law: Amnesty International



Mon 29 Nov




Wed  1 Dec

Conclusion & wrap up





Scheduling notes:


No class will be held on official university holidays on Labor Day (Mon 6 Sept) and Columbus Day (Mon 11 Oct). 


Occasional guest speakers may be added to the schedule.


*Computer lab sessions in Taubman (Sign up for group A, B or C for each session). The computer lab has 20 terminals; you may need to share with a partner. Additional lab sessions will be scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on 5th and 19th Oct. You need to attend two sessions in total in order to complete the second assignment. Sign-up sheets will be circulated closer to the date.

General points for all assignments:

·         Participants are expected to keep up with the required readings and to attend classes every Monday and Wednesday.  The number of readings varies across classes; some are heavier than others.

·         The QoG and the shared class dataset are available for downloading in Excel, Stata and SPSS formats for quantitative analysis with the second assignment.

·         Late policy: Barring an extraordinary excuse, all late assignments will be marked down a third of a grade (such as from A to A-) for each day following the due date. Assignments are due to be handed in at the start of the 10am class on the specified dates.

·         For ALL assignments you need to go beyond the required readings by drawing upon a wide range of other materials from the research literature to support claims and arguments. The supplementary bibliography provides an indication of further resources and many others can be located using Hollis and the ISI Web of Science Social Science Citation Index. It is not sufficient to use unpublished internet sources.


The first mid-term assignment involves becoming familiar with using the most common indices and cross-sectional and time-series datasets which you could use to compare and evaluate the quality of democratic governance. You are asked to use selected indicators to write a professional report focused on one world region (such as Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle-East) with background material provided in Chapter 18-23 in Haerpfer.

The potential client for your report is a regional organization, an international agency, or a bilateral donor. Your client has requested the report to identify the most pressing problems of democratic governance in the region, to prioritize their work within countries. 

What indicators would you use (and why?), what descriptive trends and summary regional benchmarks would you develop for comparison, and what additional information would you collect, to evaluate and measure political priorities in your region? What secondary literature is available from research journals and monographs to support your argument? As part of the exercise, you should justify your choice of criteria, measures, and evidence for a non-technical audience.  The QoG and the shared class datasets provide the following resources, along with many others:

1. Freedom House index of political rights and civil liberties

2. Polity IV Project Democracy and Autocracy scales

3. World Values Survey/Global Barometers Attitudinal surveys

4. Kaufmann/Kraay World Bank Institute Good governance indicators


Total word length: 2,500-3,000 words (additional Technical Appendices do not count in the total). Your report should be structured with subheadings as follows.


I.                     Executive summary (one page)

·   The key challenges facing democratic governance in the selected region

·   The plan for your report

·   Summary of your key conclusions

II.             Brief summary of the methodology and indicators used in the report, as well as the reasons for the selection and any caveats

III.                  Analysis highlighting the primary challenges facing the region

IV.                  Conclusions and implications.

V.                   Technical appendix (including longer tables, larger graphs/figures, definitions of indicators and sources, and any multivariate analysis tables, if used.)

VI.            Endnotes: comprehensive list of literature and references used in the report.


A downloadable shared report template and the discussions during class will provide some ideas on these topics. You are encouraged to collaborate with others working on the same region, but each student should submit his or her own report for an individual grade.


This assignment is designed to be crafted as a professional report, representing evidence-based policy analysis, rather than written as personal essays or standard academic papers.  The aim is to produce work which could be published by international agencies, multilateral organizations, bilateral donors, and national governments, as well as distributed internally within organizations. You need to consider how your work would be read and critiqued by representatives from governments and national stake-holders in the region. It needs to be carefully written and supported by direct evidence derived from the available datasets and from citations to existing research.

·         Communicate your argument in a clear, concise and effective manner, designed for a non-technical readership. These are not academic research papers designed for journal publication.

·         Use appendices and endnotes to explain more technical matters.

·         Use effective endnote references citing sources from the peer-reviewed research literature, as suggested from the extensive readings listed in the syllabi and others related publications.  Use endnotes to support any contentious claims, to provide your client with further sources of evidence, and to acknowledge any data sources.

·         Use professional graphs, figures and tables to illustrate key points with clear, short descriptive titles, and with full explanatory notes and data sources below each one.

·         Integrate short, vivid cases and concrete illustrations to illustrate specific ‘good practice’ programs and strategies.

·         The standard you should seek to achieve is equivalent to the World Bank Development Report or the UNDP Human Development Report. Consult these sources to check the format and writing style.


For your final assignment, select one of the topics listed in the syllabus from Part III (classes 12-21) eg constitution building, or electoral reform, or strengthening women’s empowerment etc. Your essay should summarize, outline and evaluate the key alternative policy options which are available for strengthening this aspect of democratic governance.

You should compare countries and identify cases of successful interventions as ‘best practice’.

The essay should draw upon the recommended readings and research literature on the selected topic listed in the syllabus, as well as upon any online resources and publications. It is optional whether you choose to use the QoG dataset for analysis. You can decide to focus by picking a few country cases, a global region or you can compare the world.

Your report should be structured with subheadings to cover the following topics: 

         I.      The executive summary of the plan of your essay and the major conclusions;

        II.      Summary of the core topic;

      III.      Outline of alternative policy options

      IV.      Selected cases illustrating effective interventions and ‘best practice’ on this topic

       V.      Assessment of the pros and cons of alternative options;

      VI.      Conclusions and recommendations;

    VII.      Technical appendix (including longer tables, larger graphs/figures, definition of indicators and sources, and any multivariate analysis tables, if used.)

   VIII.      Endnotes: comprehensive list of literature and references used in the report.


The discussions during class will provide some ideas on these topics and you are encouraged to work collaboratively with others, but each student should submit his or her own essay for an individual grade. The report should be about 2,500-3,000 words in length.  This assignment is designed to be more like a standard academic paper rather than a professional report.


You are asked to join a small workgroup which will make a collective 10-minute power-point presentation to the class followed by a 15-20 minute Q&A based on explaining the institutional structure, key actors and contemporary challenges of democratic governance facing a global region: Pick ONE regional overview to for core readings selected from Chapter 18-23 in Haerpfer.  

The aim is to apply the major conceptual frameworks, analytical techniques, and general lessons from the class to specific regions. You are recommended to focus your work by selecting two or three cases to contrast within your region.

Workgroups should make an appointment to meet me during office hours a week before the presentation to discuss the plan.  Groups will present to class during one of the scheduled slots, with the order decided by lot. The power-point report and accompanying briefing notes should be submitted after class and a collective grade will be awarded to each workgroup based on the quality of the overall presentation.  


Lastly, everyone will be expected to participate in class, including through brief class exercises. Sessions will involve discussing the readings, group exercises, report presentations, case studies, and debates about controversial issues.


Detailed schedule, readings and topics

Class: 1

Introduction: Roadmap of the course

Required readings:

None for the first class

Class: 2

Analytical framework explaining democratization

Discussion topics:

·         Many factors are thought to contribute towards processes of democratization, including social divisions, colonial legacies, religious traditions, modernization, international conflicts, elite pacts, institutional arrangements, modernization, and culture (Welzel). In general which of these do you regard as most and least important for explaining regime change during the third wave era in the cases of Benin and Togo, and why? 

·         How would you apply the analytical framework provided by Welzel to help sort out the most relevant factors and evidence for explaining regimes in the Arab region?

Required readings:

(1) Haerpfer et al Democratization Ch 6 pp74-88 

(2) Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1.

Class: 3

Applying the framework: Why are there no Arab democracies?

Discussion topics:

·         What are the most important reasons why there are no Arab democracies? 

·         “There is, then, an economic basis for the absence of democracy in the Arab world. But it is structural. It has to do with the ways in which oil distorts the state, the market, the class structure, and the entire incentive structure.” Diamond (2010) p98. Do you agree?

Required readings:

(1) Larry Diamond. 2010. ‘Why are there no Arab democracies?’ Journal of Democracy 21( 1): 93-104 DOI: 10.1353/jod.0.0150 http://muse.jhu.edu.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/journals/journal_of_democracy/v021/21.1.diamond.html


(2)Haerpfer et al Democratization Ch 21.pp321-336

Class: 4

Impact of democratic governance upon economic growth and social welfare

Discussion topics:

·         Do governance institutions generate economic growth? 

·         Does democracy improve social welfare for the poor in developing societies? Why or why not?

Required readings:

(1)Rodrik, Dani, Arvind Subramanian, and Francesco Trebbi. 2004.  ‘Institutions rule: The primacy of institutions over geography and integration in economic development.’ Journal of Economic Growth 9 (2): 131-165. DOI: 10.1023/B:JOEG.0000031425.72248.85

(2) Ross, Michael. 2006. ‘Is democracy good for the poor?’ American Journal of Political Science 50(4): 860-874. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4122920 DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2006.00220.x

(3) Siegle, Joseph T., Michael Weinstein and Morton Halperin. 2004. ‘Why democracies excel.’ Foreign Affairs 83(5):57-72. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20034067 Permalink: http://ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mth&AN=14348325&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Class: 5

Impact of democratic governance upon peace and conflict 

Discussion topics:

·         Does democratic governance bring a ‘peace dividend’ or increase risks of instability?

·         Is there a sequential order in the process of state-building and holding transitional elections?

Required readings:

(1) Mansfield, Edward D. and Jack Snyder. 1995. Democratization and the Danger of War   International Security 20 (1): 5-38.  http://links.jstor.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/stable/pdfplus/2539046.pdf?acceptTC=true

(2) Cederman, Lars-Erik, Simon Hug and Andreas Wenger. 2008. ‘Democratization and War in Political Science.’ Democratization 15(3):509-524 DOI: 10.1080/13510340801972247

(3) Fukuyama, Francis. 2007. ‘Liberalism versus state-building.’  Journal of Democracy   18 (3):10-13. DOI:10.1353/jod.2007.0046

(4) Carothers, Thomas, 2007.  ‘The "sequencing" fallacy.’  Journal of Democracy 18(1): 12-27. DOI:10.1353/jod.2007.0002

Class: 6

Overview: Alternative concepts of democratic governance

Discussion topics:

·         What are the core components of liberal democracy for Schumpeter and Dahl?

·         Does deliberative democracy provide alternative opportunities for civic engagement at national level?

·         What is democracy?

Required readings:

(1) Munck, Geraldo L. and Jay Verkuilen. 2002. ‘Conceptualizing and measuring democracy - Evaluating alternative indices.’ Comparative Political Studies. 35 (1): 5-34. DOI: 10.1177/001041400203500101

(2) Haerpfer et al Democratization Chapter 2 pp10-23

Class: 7

Introduction to using the QoG and shared class datasets

Discussion topics:

·         What are indicators?

·         What are the pros and cons of rule-based and outcome-based indicators of good governance?

Required readings:

(1) Sören Holmberg, Bo Rothstein, Naghmeh Nasiritousi. 2008.  ‘Quality of Government: What You Get. QoG Working Paper Series:21. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-100608-104510 http://arjournals.annualreviews.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-polisci-100608-104510

(2) The Quality of Governance dataset and codebook. The Quality of Governance Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. May 2010. Check also the general resources here.

Class: 8

Measuring democracy: Freedom House and Polity IV

Discussion topics:

·         What criteria should be used to evaluate measures of democracy?

·         How far are the Freedom House measures of democracy reliable, comprehensive, and accurate? How would you improve the Index?

·         What are the advantages of minimalist measures of democratization? What are their limits?

Required readings:

(1) Freedom House 'Freedom in the World’ (under Publications). Read especially ‘Essays’, ‘Tables and Charts’ and ‘Methodology’. (latest year available)

(2) Haerpfer et al Democratization Chapter 3 pp24-40

(3)Elkins, Zachary. 2000. Gradations of Democracy? Empirical tests of alternative conceptualizations   American Journal Of Political Science 44 (2): 293-300.  Permalink: http://ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=2888948&site=ehost-live&scope=site

(4) Collier, David and Robert Adcock. 1999. ‘Democracy and dichotomies: A pragmatic approach to choices about concepts.’ Annual Review of Political Science 1: 537-565. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.537

(5) Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 3 pp54-78.

Class: 9

Measuring good governance: WBI Kaufmann-Kraay

Discussion topics:

·         What are advantages and limitations of using the Kaufmann-Kraay’s indicators of good governance?

·         Are the Kaufmann-Kraay indicators reliable, comprehensive, and valid?

·         What are the major changes in ‘good governance’ as indicated by the Kaufmann-Kraay dataset from 1996 to date?

·         How would you explain the challenges to governance in Sub-Saharan Africa, as documented by indices of rule of law, corruption and conflict?

·         What is the relationship between notions of ‘good governance’ and theories of democratic governance?

Required readings:

(1) Grindle, Merilee S. 2007. ‘Good enough governance revisited.’ Development Policy Review 25 (5): 553-574. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7679.2007.00385.x

(2) Kaufmann, Daniel and Aart  Kraay. 2008. ‘Governance indicators: Where are we, where should we be going?’ The World Bank Research Observer 23(1):1-30.  DOI: 10.1093/wbro/lkm012

(3) Back, Hanna, and Axel Hadenius. 2008. ‘Democracy and state capacity: Exploring a J shaped relationship.’ Governance 21(1): 1-24. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0491.2007.00383.x

Class: 10

Utilizing the shared class datasets (Applied lab sessions #1)

Discussion topics:

Lab Exercise Meet Taubman Lab

Required readings:

(1) Quality of Governance Codebook  The Quality of Governance Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. May 2010. Check also the general website resources here.

Class: 11

Survey indicators and democratic audits: WVS

Discussion topics:

·         Is support for democratic ideals a universal value?

·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of using democratic audits to debate the quality of democracy in any state?

·         What does survey evidence suggest about the relationship between cultural attitudes towards democratic governance and democratic performance, as monitored by aggregate indicators?

Required readings:

(1) Haerpfer et al Democratization Chapter 9 pp126-144

(2) Inglehart, Ronald and Christian Welzel. 2010. ‘Changing Mass Priorities: The Link between Modernization and Democracy.  Perspectives on Politics. 8(2):551-567. DOI: 10.1017/S1537592710001258

Class: 12

Utilizing the shared CS-TS class datasets (Applied lab sessions #2)

Discussion topics:

Class exercises in lab

Required readings:

 (1) Quality of Governance Codebook University of Gothenburg: The Quality of Government Institute

Class: 13

The role of the UN, regional organizations and bilateral donors

Discussion topics:

·         Which strategies are most common and which most effective for multilateral agencies seeking to strengthen democratic governance: external pressures such as publishing ranked indices, international observer missions, and annual reports (TI, Amnesty International, OSCE); external incentives through conditionality criteria  (eg EU membership, MCA, Community of Democracies); or long-term capacity building with local stakeholders for national ownership (eg UNDP)?

Required readings:

(1) Haerpfer et al Democratization Chapter 7 pp92-103.

Class: 14

Constitution-building in peace-building processes: International IDEA

Discussion topics:

·         Is there a single best set of democratic institutions?

·         What are the key contrasts between ‘consensus’ or ‘majoritarian’ democracies; compare and contrast two developing countries exemplifying each type. 

·         Do we know enough about the impact of political institutions to engage in successful ‘constitutional engineering’?  Compare the outcome of constitutional peace settlements in two societies to consider these issues.

Required readings:

(1) Samuels, Kirsti. 2006. Constitution building processes and democratization: A discussion of twelve case studies. International IDEA. (Select any two cases for comparison)

(2) Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1 pp22-31. 

(3) Elkins, Zach. 2010. ‘Diffusion and the Constitutionalization of Europe.’ Comparative Political Studies 43(8-9): 969-999. DOI: 10.1177/0010414010370433

Class 15


Required readings:

Haerpfer et al Democratization Relevant regional chapter 18-23

Class: 16 and 17

Elections: ACE/International IDEA

Discussion topics:

·         In considering debates about electoral reform, list the five most important normative values that any electoral system should meet, and give detailed reasons justifying your choices.

·         What are the major distinctions between plurality first-past the-post, the alternative vote, the single transferable vote, combined/ mixed, and party list electoral systems? Discuss with illustrations of recent elections held under each type of rules.

·         Are mixed member (combined) electoral systems the best of all possible worlds?

·         Compare two countries and discuss the primary advantages and disadvantages of proportional or majoritarian/plurality electoral systems for each state.

·         Do proportional electoral systems generate fragmented or extreme multiparty systems?

·         What are the consequences of majoritarian/plurality electoral systems for the representation of women and ethnic minorities, and why do these effects occur?

Required readings:

(1) Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 5.

(2) Pippa Norris. 2007. Electoral Engineering. New York: Cambridge University Press. Ch 2-4. Available at www.pippanorris.com under ‘Books’.

(3) Haerpfer et al Democratization Chapter 15 pp219-233

Class 18


Required readings:

Haerpfer et al Democratization Relevant regional chapter 18-23

Class: 19

Parliaments, parties, and women’s empowerment: the Inter-parliamentary Union

Discussion topics:

·         Why have quotas for women spread so rapidly in many countries worldwide and what are the consequences of their adoption?

·         What are the primary barriers to achieving gender parity in elected office?

·         What are the main reforms available for strengthening legislatures to counterbalance the power of the executive?

Required readings:

(1) Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press. At www.pippanorris.com under ‘Books’.

(2) Pippa Norris. 2004. Electoral Engineering. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 8, at www.pippanorris.com under ‘Books’.

(3) Krook, Mona L. 2007. Candidate gender quotas: A framework for analysis European Journal Of Political Research 46 (3): 367-394. DOI:  10.1111/j.1475-6765.2007.00704.x

(4) Haerpfer et al Democratization Chapter 10 pp145-157

Class: 20

Public administration reform, decentralization and local governance, and anti-corruption: Transparency International

Discussion topics:

·         What are the pros and cons of the methodology employed in TI’s corruption perception index?

·         Does decentralization strengthen or weaken good governance?

·         What are the practical policy recommendations that you would draw from World Bank Diagnostic Tools for strengthening public sector management and governance decentralization?

Required readings:

(1) Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 7.

(2) Treisman, Daniel. 2007. ‘What have we learned about the causes of corruption from ten years of cross-national empirical research?’ Annual Review Of Political Science 10: 211-244 2007. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.polisci.10.081205.095418

(3) Devas N. and S. Delay. 2006. ‘Local democracy and the challenges of decentralising the state: An international perspective’  Local Government Studies 32 (5): 677-695. DOI: 10.1080/03003930600896293

Class 21


Required readings:

Haerpfer et al Democratization Relevant regional chapter 18-23

Class: 22

Civil society, social capital, and the news media: the Open Society Institute

Discussion topics:

·         Does social capital, including dense social networks and rich reservoirs of social trust, help to explain why some democratic governments succeed while others fail?

·         What should be the roles of the news media in governance and development?

·         Does social trust matter for democratic governance? Explain why and why not.

·         Compare and contrast any two developing nations to evaluate whether the central claims in Putnam’s theory of social capital hold in cross-cultural perspective?

Required readings:

(1) Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 8, at www.pippanorris.com under ‘Books’.

(2) Haerpfer et al Democratization Chapter 11 pp158-167, Ch 12 pp172-185, and Ch 16 pp234-248

Class: 23

Human rights, justice, and rule of law: Amnesty International

Discussion topics:

·         How far should international human rights organizations focus on defending economic, social and cultural rights? Examine the arguments for and against.

·         What does a rights-based approach to development entail and what are its advantages and disadvantages compared with alternative approaches favoring development?

Required readings:

(1) Nelson, Paul and Ellen Dorsey. 2007. ‘New rights advocacy in a global public domain.’ European Journal of International Relations 13 (2): 187-216 JUN 2007 DOI: 10.1177/1354066107076953

(2) Sengupta, A. 2000. ‘Realizing the right to development.’ Development and Change 31 (3): 553-578 JUN 2000  DOI: 10.1111/1467-7660.00167

Class 24


Required readings:

Haerpfer et al Democratization Relevant regional chapter 18-23

Class 25

Conclusions: Lessons for effective development


Wrap up and evaluation



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Last updated 12/05/2009