International relations
Study-unit Code
Cooperazione internazionale e state building
Cristina Baldassini
  • Cristina Baldassini
  • 42 ore - Cristina Baldassini
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The course provides an analysis of various cases involving transition to democracy from 1945 up to today from a historical and political perspective. Particular focus is made on situations which have either facilitated or rendered difficult the process of democratization following a change of regime.
Reference texts
Texts for attending students:
- a book assigned by the lecturer during the course.
Texts for non attending students:
1) F. Pasquali, Transizioni politiche. Democrazie imperfette o nuovi autoritarismi? Egea 2018;
2) I. Elster, Chiudere i conti. La giustizia nelle transizioni politiche, il Mulino 2008.
Educational objectives
The teaching programme is designed to help students understand how democratic political institutions are set up and consolidated following a change of regime. In addition to successful case studies, the aim is to develop an understanding of why some democratic processes are not consolidated, cease to develop or may even be unsuccessful.
In order to gain an understanding of the topics covered, a general knowledge of contemporary history is required.
Teaching methods
The first part of the course focuses on the general theme of political transitions; the second part is organized in seminars and takes an in-depth look at individual case studies.
Other information
For further information:
Learning verification modality
Students taking this course will be assessed by means of a mid-course and end-of-course exam. For the mid-course exam test students will be required to present a text assigned at the beginning of the course, to be done during class. This exam encourages students to independently analyze a specific aspect of transitions to democracy.
The final exam consists of an oral examination lasting about 20 minutes. The purpose of this exam is to ascertain the level of students' knowledge of the programme contents and their ability to express them in a clear and appropriate manner. Non-attending students must sit an oral exam lasting no more than 30 minutes, with questions on the content of two texts assigned in the programme.
Extended program
The course analyses various cases of democratic transition after 1945 (Italy, Germany and Japan) including more recent attempts to export democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan from a historical perspective. By looking at these cases together with other specific cases (India, Spain, Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe after 1989, North African countries), the course provides an analysis of several more general problems affecting democratic transition, including:
- the issue of justice and political purge following a change of regime;
- the call for national reconciliation;
- the link between democracy and market economy;
- the connection between the diffusion of wellbeing and the consolidation of democratic political institutions;
- the difficulty of extending the geographical boundaries of democracy, compared to the past.
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