Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Democratic Erosion

Democratic Erosion

PLSC 297: Democratic Erosion

Spring 2021

Tuesdays, 3:05-4:20 p.m.
Classes held via Zoom
January 19-March 9


Christopher Beem, McCourtney Institute for Democracy Managing Director

Course Description

Many have argued that the world has entered a time of democratic erosion. This course will examine the patterns by which such erosion commonly occurs: how do democracies transition into authoritarianism? The course will examine the framework developed in the book How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.

It will also review circumstances in a few select countries (including the United States) in which democratic erosion has been alleged to have occurred or to be occurring. We will consider whether and how those examples conform to the Levistky/Ziblatt framework.

More about the course on LionPATH.