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Courses at Master's Level Open for Doctoral Students at the Department


The following courses at master's level are also open for doctoral students at the department. All courses have English as the language of instruction.

Information regarding the starting date for each course can be found on the University's list of courses in English under the subject Political Science and European studies: http://utbildning.gu.se/education/courses-and-programmes/courses_in_english


SK2211, The Performance of Democracies, 15 hec

In the context of the increase in the number of democracies in the past decades, this course deals with variation in performance between democratic countries. What difference does democracy make for the general population? If democracy is introduced in a former authoritarian country, what happens to the lives of ‘ordinary people’? Will fewer newborns die? Will more children attend school for more years? Is it likely that fewer people will live in poverty? Will corruption be curbed and transparency in public affairs increased? The course scrutinizes the somewhat dismal picture of many democracies’ performance illuminated through the so far limited empirical research on this topic, and proceeds with examining available explanations for why some democracies are doing a much better job than others in (a) producing human well-being, (b) curbing corruption and (c) managing their public finances in a sustainable way.

Syllabus SK2211, The Performance of Democracies, 15 hec

SK2212, The Quality of Government in a Comparative Perspective, 15 hec

Corruption and its related problems are now seen as having devastating effects not only on economic growth, but also on the viability of democratic processes, the legitimacy of public policies in areas such as social insurance, employment and education and, not least, the overall social fabric of society. In this course, you will study the importance of the quality of government (QoG) institutions for economic and democratic development as well as social and environmental sustainability. We will critically evaluate questions such as how QoG might be defined; the importance of QoG for democracy, economic growth, the rule of law, social capital, inequality, social policies and citizens individual well-being; and, whether the concept of QoG is universally applicable or limited to the Western liberal democracies. For those who aspire to win the Nobel Prize, answer this: what does it take for countries to change from low to high quality political institutions?

Syllabus SK2212, The Quality of Government in a Comparative Perspective

SF2221, Global Security and Democracy, 15 hec

This course deals with the interrelationship between security and democracy in an ever-changing global context. Pressing problems facing today s global politics makes it imperative to rethink the notions of security and democracy. How do we provide security while preserving the basic principles of a democratic society? How do we democratize global politics without lowering the level of security we feel is necessary? In this course, you will learn to discuss and analyze the meaning of the concepts and practices of security and democracy. Who is the subject of security? What are threats to security? How does one organize a secure political life? Through theoretical and thematic attention to these issues, you will become familiar with the relevant research and acquire tools with which to critically discuss and assess different responses and policy proposals. You will present your arguments both in writing and orally.

Syllabus SF2221, Global Security and Democracy

SF2222, Citizens, Politicians, and the Media: Evaluating Democratic Processes, 15 hec

A major goal of democracy is to realize the will of the people. But how should this be achieved according to different normative democratic models? How is it achieved in reality? To find out, this course zooms in on three groups of actors in modern mass democracies: citizens, politicians, and the mass media. We consider empirical research from both political science and mass communication research, including voting behaviour, political psychology, political participation, political representation, mass media effects on citizens, political journalism, and news management. What does this research tell us about how citizens, politicians, and the mass media interact with each other under different circumstances? How do these actors, and the relations between them, live up to the requirements of different models of democracy? What does research results from different fields reveal about how democracy could be improved?

Syllabus SF2222, Citizens, Politicians, and the Media: Evaluating Democratic Processes

SK2221, Environmental Politics and Institutions, 15 hec

Through the course, the students will acquire some in-depth knowledge with the political attempts to cope with several environmental problems such as those found in the marine environment, water, land-use and biodiversity and various airborne environmental problems including climate change. Theoretically, the course is primarily founded in social dilemma theory, theories about public opinion and behaviour, and institutional theory. However, also political theory (principally distributional theory) and game theory have central roles throughout the course.

Syllabus SK2221, Environmental Politics and Institutions

SK2222, Varieties of Democracy and Democratization, 15 hec

This course starts with theories of what democracy is and ought to be, and confronts these theories with different approaches to measuring varieties of democracy across time and space. Students are exposed to a range of theories of democratization, or failer of various forms of democracy, and they are trained in how to systematically analyze and evaluate such theories. The course thus addresses the two interlinked topics of conceptualizing and measuring democracy; and the explaining of democratization.

Syllabus SK2222, Varieties of Democracy and Democratization


EU2210, European Environment and Energy, 15 hec

The course addresses and problematizes the EU´s environmental and energy policy. You will analyze the EU´s legal foundation, the policy process, and the commitment to economic growth and integration of markets from an environmental perspective. One aim is to provide a thorough understanding of the vagueness of sustainable development and in what ways the concept is used by/in the EU. This provides the baseline for thematic elaborations on different environmental and energy problems and future challenges for the EU. These thematic elaborations will also include analyses of the relation between the EU and member states, the EU as an international actor, the role of NGO´s and other lobby groups.

Syllabus EU2210, European Environment and Energy

EU2220, Social Europe, 15 hec

The course seeks to consider the past, present, and future of Social Europe. It will focus on inter-disciplinary aspects of the European citizenship, i.e. rights and obligations, work, family, gender, identity, immigration and the future of European welfare states. You will get in-depth knowledge of the diversity of European social policies, of their political background and of current welfare reforms. The course addresses and problematizes European social policy and law. This provides the baseline for thematic elaborations on different social problems and future challenges for the EU, including analyses of the relation between the EU, the Council of Europe and the member states.

Syllabus EU2220, Social Europe

EU2215, Europe in the world, 15 hec

This course provides for an inter-disciplinary understanding of Europe’s role in the world and draws on a range of approaches in the social sciences and the humanities. It examines the political, economic, social and security relations of Europe with the rest of the world from historical and contemporary perspectives. The study of “Europe” is understood in a broad sense to encompass various international organizations, state actors and civil societies. The course assesses the international significance of European integration, the impact of global developments on Europe, and the changing role of Europe in the new world order.

Syllabus EU2215, Europe in the world

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