Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3131: The Revival of Global Authoritarianism

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

While the precise content will vary from year to year, it is expected that the module will include lectures on the following themes:

  • Global Democracy in Decline?
  • Studying authoritarianism – methodological and empirical challenges
  • Authoritarianism as Regime Type
  • Authoritarian Institutions (legislatures, courts, constitutions)
  • The Political Economy of Authoritarianism (e.g. rentier states, patronalism, corruption)
  • Civic Life under Authoritarianism (civil society, protests and repression, welfare)
  • From 20th– 21st Century Authoritarianism (innovations in authoritarian governance, technology and authoritarianism)
  • The International politics of authoritarianism (norm diffusion, democracy prevention, authoritarian international institutions, rising powers, decline of the West)
  • Authoritarianism in democratic countries (populism, Trump etc., authoritarianism as a set of practices)
  • A Global Authoritarian Future?

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2211 x 2 hour seminars
Guided independent study65Private study, reading and preparing for seminars (approx. 6 hours of private study per seminar)
Guided independent study28Researching and writing policy briefing
Guided independent study30Researching and writing essay
Guided independent study5Preparing formative presentation

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

A good summary of how to write a policy brief - https://writingcenter.unc.edu/policy-briefs/

Blog on authoritarianism managed at Sheffield and Birkbeck - https://thelanguageofauthoritarianregimes.wordpress.com/

Research project ‘Authoritarianism in a Global Age’, University of Amsterdam, http://www.authoritarianism-global.uva.nl/

NED podcast on authoritarian resurgence - https://www.ned.org/ideas/podcast/

Freedom House 2017 Report on Modern Authoritarianism - https://freedomhouse.org/report/special-reports/breaking-down-democracy-goals-strategies-and-methods-modern-authoritarians