The Crisis of Democracy

Ref: C2346555

There is increasing concern that democracy is 'in crisis' in Europe and beyond. In this course Philosophy, Psychology and Political Science will be used to identify risks and indicate constructive responses to them. The course will cover : 1. the meaning of 'crisis' 2. what is in crisis - a short overview of different interpretations of 'democracy' 3.evidence of distrust in politicians and the political system 4. who engages with politics, who does not and what kind of politics do they participate in (from parliamentary democracy to protest actions) 5. authoritarian attitudes and how best to respond to them (especially Karen Stenner's work) 6. the relationship between conspiracy theories and democracy - 'digital democracy' helps disseminate them (e.g. research study lead by Alan Finlayson) 7. Is 'modern', fast-paced life detrimental to democracy (e.g. David Runciman's work) 8. course review and outlook to the course after Easter on how democracy can work better

Course aim

to give students the opportunity to identify threats to democracy and to assess how to respond to them in constructive ways

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain at least two different meanings of 'crisis' in relation to democracy
  • define 'authoritarian attitude' and 'conspiracy theory'
  • summarise in your own words the conclusions and reasons for them in relation to at least one of course topics 4. - 7.
  • identify what, on the basis of the evidence and theories covered on the course, you consider the greatest threat to democracy
  • explain how one or more intervention(s) can respond to a threat to democracy in a constructive way - or give reasons why interventions are not needed

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This is an online course, so you will need reliable Internet access, an email address and a CANVAS account to access the course materials and participate in the class meetings. Technical help with CANVAS is available from the national WEA team.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Crisis of Democracy

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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