POLS250 The Modern Democracy: Concepts and Theories



The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the notion of democracy and its development up to date. Building on the basic philosophical thinkers the course will critically assess, analyse the characteristics the functioning of contemporary democracy. By doing so the course will examine the challenges to contemporary democracy.

прочети още
Politics and Society (in English)


Филип Димитров
Asst. Hristo Panchugov

Course Description:



After completing successfully this course the students will:

1) know:

- The process of development of contemporary political structure of democracy

- The basic philosophical concepts on democracy and democratic process

- The contemporary theoretical debate on democracy as a political regime

2) be able to:

- Critically assess the modern challenges to democracy building on the basic historical and philosophical developments.

- Analyse and comment on the current developments.

- To critically apply the different theoretical models to investigations of political institutions, processes and behavior within contemporary democracies

3) job opportunities, according to the National Register of Jobs and Positions in the Republic of Bulgaria:

- Experts in social and related sciences and humanities

- Teachers in universities, colleges and other academic schools

- Journalists and editors


Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:




Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes

and Democracy in Five Nations

Altman, David, and Anbal Prez-Linn. 2002. "Assessing the quality of democracy: freedom,

competition and participation in eighteen Latin American countries." Democratization

9(2): 85-100.

Coppedge, Michael, and Manus I Midlarsky. 1997." Modernization and thresholds of

democracy: evidence for a common path and process." In Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, p. 177-201.

Dahl, Robert Alan. 2006. On political equality. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Dahl, Robert Alan. 1971. Polyarchy: participation and opposition. New Haven: Yale

University Press.

Held, David. 1996. Models of democracy. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Horowitz, Donald L. 1993. "Democracy in divided societies." Journal of Democracy 4(4):


Lijphart, Arend. 1999. Patterns of democracy: government forms and performance in thirtysix

countries. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Lijphart, Arend. 1997. "Unequal participation: democracy's unresolved dilemma." The

American Political Science Review 91(1): 1-14. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2952255.

Lipset, Seymour Martin. 1959. "Some social requisites of democracy: economic development

and political legitimacy." American Political Science Review 53: 69-105.

Merkel, Wolfgang. 2008. "Plausible theory, unexpected results: the rapid democratic

consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe." International Politics and Society (2): 11-


Muller, Edward N, and Mitchell A Seligson. 1994. "Civic culture and democracy. thequestion of causal relationship." American Political Science Review 88(3): 635-652.

Munck, Gerardo L, and Jay Verkuilen. 2002. "Conceptualizing and measuring democracy:

evaluating alternative indices." Comparative Political Studies 35(1): 5-33.

Munck, Gerardo. L. 2009. Measuring democracy: a bridge between scholarship & politics.

The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Przeworski, Adam et al. 2000. Democracy and development: political institutions and

material well-being in the world, 1950-1990. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Przeworski, Adam, and Ferdinando Limongi. 1997. "Modernization. Theories and facts."

World Politics 49(1): 155-183.

Roller, Edeltraud. 2005. The performance of democracies. political institutions and public

policies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schmitter, Philippe C, and Terry Lynn Karl. 1991. "What democracy is...and is not." Journal

of Democracy 2(3): 75-88.

Schmitter, Philippe C., and Alexander H Trechsel. 2004. The future of democracy: trends,

analyses, and reform. A green paper for the Council of Europe.

Schmitter, Philippe C. 2004. "The Quality of Democracy THE AMBIGUOUS VIRTUES OF

ACCOUNTABILITY." October 15(4): 47-60.

Vatter, Adrian. 2009. "Lijphart expanded: three dimensions of democracy in advanced OECD

countries?." European Political Science Review 1(1): 125-154.

Welzel, Christian, Ronald Inglehart, and Hans-Dieter Klingemann. 2003. "The theory of

human development: a cross-cultural analysis." European Journal of Political Research

42(3): 341.