Checking date: 03/01/2023

Course: 2024/2025

Political Regimes: Historic Evolution and Current Forms
Bachelor in History and Politics (Plan: 394 - Estudio: 352)


Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
Obtain a deep and developed understaning of the evolution of modern political regimes in all their key phases, including: The decline and fall of feudalism The struggle betewwen absolutism and parliament Origins and consequences of the English, American and French revolutions The consequences of the indsutrial revolution for modern governance The struggle in the 20th century beween liberal democracy and fascist and soviet totalitarianism The principal challenges for liberal democracy in the 21st century.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
PART 1. POLITICAL REGIMES IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY 1. The practise of feudalism 2. National monarchies of the High Modern Age. Absolutism and its manifestations. 3. The first representative systems: England and the United Provinces. Theory and practice of illustrated despotism 4. The French and American revolutions. Political positions 5. Revolutions in the 19th Century. Liberal and authoritarian regimes. 6. Totalitarianisms and parliamentary democracies until World War II 7. Political regimes at the time of the Iron Curtain. 8. Perestroika and political evolution. PART 2. CURRENT POLITICAL REGIMES 1. Democracies I: Concept of democracy, minimalist and substantive definitions of democracy. Democracy Indexes. Classifying political regimes. 2. Democracies II:Governments in parliamentary systems (formation, fall, early elections). Type of cabinets. Presidential systems (clash between le- gislative and executive branches, parliamentarization of presidential systems). Semi-presidentialism. 3. Dictatorships: The monarchy. The military regimes. The civil dictatorships (dominant party and personalist dictatorship). The electoral authoritaria- nism. PART 3. THE DYNAMICS OF POLITICAL REGIMES 1. Resources and economy: The legitimacy of political systems. Economy and democracy. La curse of natural resources. 2. Transitions to democracy I: Top-bottom transitions. Models of negotiation in transitions to democracy. Liberalization, transition and democratic con- solidation. 16. Transitions to democracy II: Revolutionary processes. Collective actions dilemma. Structural and subjective explanations to revolts.
Learning activities and methodology
AF1. THEORETICAL-PRACTICAL CLASSES. Presentation of the knowledge to be acquired by the students. Students will recieve class notes and will have basic reference texts with which to follow the classes and undertake subsequent work. Students will do exercises and practical problems and workshops and evaluation tests will be undertaken to acquire the necessary capacities. AF2. TUTORIALS. Individual or group tutorials will be provided to te students by the professor. AF3. INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP WORK BY THE STUDENT. MD1. THEORETICAL CLASS. Class presentations by the professor with the aid of informational and audiovisual media, in which the basic concepts of the material are developed and in which the materials and bibliography are provided to complement the students' learning. MD2. PRACTICAL SESSIONS. Resolution of practical cases, problems etc., set out by the professor individually or in groups. MD3. TUTORIALS. Individual or group tutorials provided to the students by the professor.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40

Calendar of Continuous assessment

Extraordinary call: regulations
Basic Bibliography
  • Adam Przeworski. Democracy and the Market. Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Cambridge University Press. 1991
  • Arend Lijphart. Patterns of Democracy. Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries. Yale University Press. 2012
  • Christopher Hobson. The Rise of Democracy. Revolution, War and Transformations in International Politics since 1776. Edinburgh University Press. 2015
  • Samuel Finer. The History of Government from the Earliest Times. Volume III. Empires, Monarchies, and the Modern State. Oxford University Press. 1999
Additional Bibliography
  • Adrian Lyttelton. The Seizure of Power. Fascism in Italy 1919-1929. Princeton University Press. 1988
  • Archie Brown. The Rise and Fall of Communism. Vintage. 2010
  • Christopher Hill. The Century of Revolution, 1603-1714. Routledge. 2001
  • Eric Hobsbawm. The Age of Capital, 1848-1875. Abacus. 1988
  • George Rudé. The French Revolution. Weidenfeld and Nicholson. 1994
  • Karl Dietrich Bracher. The German Dictatorship. The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism. Holt, Rhinehart and Winston. 1970
  • Mila Svolik. The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. Cambridge University Press. 2012
  • R.R. Palmer. The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800. Volume I: The Challenge.. Princeton University Press. 1959
  • Robert Dahl. Polyarchy. Participation and Opposition. Yale University Press. 1972
  • Samuel Lilley. The Fontana Economic History of Europe. Technological Progress and the Industirial Revolution 1700-1914. Fontana Collins. 1970
  • Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. How Democracies Die. What History Reveals About Our Future. Penguin Books. 2019
  • William A. Pelz. A People's History of Modern Europe. Pluto Press. 2016

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.