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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

GOVT 84.13 Improving Democracy: Institutional Innovations and Experiments in Developing Nations

Representative Democracy is now practiced on most continents and in a wide variety of settings. Yet important challenges limit democratic processes in “new” or “developing” Democracies in Asia, Africa and beyond: elite influence or capture, lack of inclusiveness, citizen apathy, weak accountability, the (often poor) quality of representatives, lack of transparency etc..... In this class, we will assess these limitations and concretely review the efforts and innovations pushed by international institutions and international donors to attenuate these problems. That is, we will review strategies implemented to decentralize, to increase participatory processes, to increase citizen control of politicians, and to limit the influence of elites. In doing so, we will rely on existing studies and experiments in order to evaluate the extent to which these strategies have led to concrete improvements in the lives of the citizens of these countries, the objective being to expose students to the institutional engineering strategies designed by policy practitioners in international institutions and in the NGO sector.



The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.


18S: 10A