POLS247 Institutions: What Do They Do and Why DO We Need Them?



• The course aims to upgrade the knowledge which students gathered in their previous semesters about the origin, structure and functions of institutions in modern democratic state. The lectures will gradually present the genesis of contemporary notion for power and its applications through the instruments of state and international institutions. The accent will fall on the challenges which modern institutions face in the contemporary world as a result of the dynamics of the endo- and exogenous political conditions and realities. Special attention will be drawn to the broad array of concepts regarding modern institutions, power, authority and democracy.

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Asst. Prof. Lyubomir Stefanov, PhD

Course Description:


After completing successfully this course the students will:

1) know:

o The basic theories which define modern institutions and governance

o The role and place of institutions in modern democratic state

o The role of state in global processes

2) be able to:

• Solve alone research and practical cases

• Carry in-depth analyses of specific cases and documents regarding the evolution, genesis and role of institutions and governance
•Excellent English language

•Basic knowledge of political science and international relations

• Familiarity Theories of Development of relations between state and citizens.

Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:



Suggested Readings


Berglund, S., Aarebrot, F.H., Vogt, H. and Karasimeonov, G. “Challenges to Democracy”, Societal Fragmentation and Post-Communist Party Politics, Elgar, 2001

Caramani D. (eds.) Comparative Politics. Oxford University Press 2008

Lijphart, A. Electoral Systems and Party Systems, A Study of Twenty-Seven Democracies, 1945–1990, Oxford University Press 1994

Modern Political Thought: A reader

Politics: The Basics

Zakaria, Fareed The Future of Freedom-illiberal democracy at home and abroad, Norton, New York, 2007.


Hood, Christopher The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric, and Public Management, Oxford University Press, 2000

Inglehart, R. The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles among Western Politics, Princeton University Press,1977

Klingemann Hans-Dieter and Fuchs Dieter, Citizens and the State, Oxford University Press 1998, part III and IV

Morlino, Leonardo Changes for Democracy: Actors, Structures, Processes, Oxford University Press 2011


The students are expected to participate actively in class discussions and during the teaching process. The current grade consists of three parts: 1) essay writing (3-4 assignments); 2) mandatory seminar discussions 3) overall participation in class.

A student can get an exemption from the final exam if achieving a current grade of 5.5 or above during the semester. If failing to do so, only after meeting all preliminary above mentioned requirements, students will have to attend the final exam at the end of the semester.