12004 Political Participation in Democratic Regimes 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Democracy Studies / Society and Politics

Prerequisites: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; one of the following: Democracy and Democratization, Selected Problems in the History of Western Democracies, Education Policy: Education for Democracy in Democratic Societies, Democracy and Mass Communication,2 Selected Topics in Public Administration; and exemption from bibliographic assignments on computer searches in the “Alef” catalog and databases.

The course is based on a reader edited by Moshe Maor

The course presents different approaches to organizing the means of political participation used in democratic regimes. Issues discussed include patterns of political participation in Great Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, the United States, Japan and India; The roots of structural and social factors in various countries which influence the nature of political participation; The implications of token political participation; The circumstances which reflect a transition to violent forms of political participation, and actions which can be taken to contain them.

Topics: Theoretical basis – problems related to political participation from positive and critical perspectives; Patterns of political participation – voting in elections, political party membership, civilian volunteerism and political violence; Factors which thwart political involvement – lack of confidence and dissatisfaction with the political system; various explanations for voter abstention in elections; Implications and solutions – the various consequences of processes of political participation or abstention, and ways to increase participation.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.

2or Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005), for students who took it as a required course in the Culture specialization before Spring 2010.