Jan 26, 2022  
College Catalog 2018-2019 
    
College Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LARTS H335 — Honors: Democracy at the Crossroads – 21st Century Challenges

3 credits
Fall
Anita Mercier

Prerequisite: LARTS 112 . Members of Western societies tend to assume that democracy is the best form of government. Yet today, many democratic countries are sliding toward authoritarianism, and others are struggling to maintain stability. What conditions are necessary to establish and maintain democracy? What are democracy’s vulnerabilities? Does democracy have a future? 

To answer these questions, we will trace the intellectual foundations of democracy from its origins in the ancient world through the Atlantic republican tradition and through the emergence of modern liberal democracies worldwide.  We will examine the ideas of both proponents and critics of democracy. Finally we will focus on some of the pressing problems facing contemporary democracies, including populism, the persistence of illiberal and anti-democratic ideologies, skyrocketing economic inequality, and sweeping technological changes. This is a Liberal Arts Honors course.