Oslo, Norway

Democratization and Autocratization in a Comparative Perspective

online course
when 5 July 2021 - 9 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 8 EC
fee NOK 4000

The predominant discourse today says that democracy is in crisis. But the world is much more democratic than 200 years ago, and there is obviously much variation in how rulers get access to political power and how they use it. A better understanding of these differences is arguably one of the most interesting and important topics for social scientists. Against this backdrop, this course explores the who, what, when, where, and why of political regimes based on an explicit comparative perspective. It provides an advanced introduction to different ways of conceptualizing and measuring political regimes. Moreover, the course offers an overview of variations in democracy and autocracy across time and countries and a discussion of the potential determinants of this variation. Finally, the course explores the consequences of different regime types for human desires and miseries, such as economic growth, human development, state repression, and conflict. During the week, the participants will get the chance to discuss how these issues relate to their own projects

Course leader

Professor Svend-Erik Skaaning, Aarhus University, Denmark

Target group

PhD students, graduate or postgraduate student or professional from any social science field of study or related disciplines.

Course aim

After completing the course the students will:

Be familiar with key conceptual distinctions, empirical measures, and trends related to political regime types and their changes
Be familiar with key theories about the causes and consequences of political regimes
Be able to identify and critically evaluate theoretical arguments and empirical strategies of comparative assessment used in this research field
Be able to articulate and pursue novel research questions related to these issues

Credits info

8 EC
A completed course including submission of an approved paper is awarded 8 ECTS.

Fee info

NOK 4000: The participation fee includes:
Covering of expenses towards administration and honorarium for lecturers.


Oslo Summer School for Social Sciences does not have any grants or scholarships. All costs in relation to participation in our courses must be paid by participants themselves, or by their institution.