The Government Department’s sophomore tutorial, Government 97, aims to encourage a sense of intellectual community while opening up the richness and diversity of the study of politics. Our topic is democracy. We will consider both key theoretical problems and the most promising methods that political scientists use to address these problems.
In choosing to focus on democracy, we are not suggesting that it is something whose virtues are obvious or whose triumph is inevitable. Quite the contrary. Nevertheless, we believe that democracy is at the center of political self-understanding in our modern world, not just in democratic societies (wherever we might draw the borderline for inclusion) but also in many other societies where the absence of democracy is a salient issue.