POLS210-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Democratic Uprisings and Political Participation

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


With democracy increasingly coming under attack around the world, this course examines democratic uprisings, with a primary focus on people's power uprisings in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, popularly known as the "Arab Spring". It examines the causes of uprisings, the factors that lead to success or failure, and the role of both traditional and social media in the uprisings. It considers when newly created democracies are most likely to succeed and when they are likely to fail. Last, we consider the threats to contemporary democracies, particularly new democracies, but also with some reflection on more established democracies like our own.

Course Requirements

All students are required to:

*  attend lectures regularly and participate in class discussions
*  complete four brief learning activities
*  do a short paper
*  do a research paper
*  do a final test

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course, students are expected to
  • gain an understanding of relevant tools and theories in comparative politics
  • familiarize themselves with theories related to democratization and political participation
  • apply concepts and theories learned in the course
  • identify major issues and current debates on democratization in Southeast Asia and the Middle East
  • develop an understanding of the cultural context and norms relevant to democracy and participation
  • develop an understanding of the impact of globalisation and global norms on democratisation
  • further develop their ability in communicating ideas cogently and forming reasoned arguments
  • evaluate and use appropriate evidence
  • develop their ability in doing research independently and writing logically and coherently


Any 15 points at 100 level from POLS, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA, or
the Schedule V of the BCom.

Timetable Note

The lectures for this course will be recorded and available on Learn.

Course Coordinator

James Ockey


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Learning Activities 10% Every 3 weeks
Final Test 30% Take home test, open book, open note. 15-16 October
Short paper 13 Aug 2020 20% 1,000 words
Research Paper 08 Oct 2020 40% 2,000 words

Textbooks / Resources

Required readings will be made available on Learn (most books) or through the library (some books, most journal articles).  Some readings will be discussed in class and you are expected to keep up with assigned readings.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All POLS210 Occurrences

  • POLS210-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020
  • POLS210-20S2 (D) Semester Two 2020 (Distance)