Courses

SEMINAR OF ΤΗΕ HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY: THEORIES OF DEMOCRACY


Teaching Staff: Vaki Fotini
Course Code: ΙΦΙ601
Course Type: Seminar
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Semester: 6th
ECTS: 5

Short Description:

The contradictory views mapping its history demonstrate that democracy’s foundation and consolidation seem to be a rather ardent task though it is the only form of government lending legitimacy to modern and contemporary political life. The history of the idea of democracy as the “power of the people” gave rise to a broad spectrum of disputes concerning the question both of the identity of the “people” and the extent to which the latter is participating to the government and exercising power. The seminar will discuss theories of democracy via the original texts of a broad scope of thinkers ranging from Aristotle to Habermas.  


Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

By the successful completion of the course the student will be able to understand and analyze:

  • The various forms and theories of democracy.
  • Contemporary political problems.

Syllabus:

Week 1 # Athenian democracy and its enemies

Week 2 # Republicanism and its modern revival in J.J. Rousseau.

Week 3 # What is a people?

Week 4-5 # Classical liberalism and democracy

Week 6-7 # Capitalism and democracy: An incompatible relation?

Week 8-9 # Marx on democracy

Week 10 # Neoliberalism against democracy

Week 11 # The far-right undermining of democracy

Week 12-13 # Students’ presentations


Suggested Bibliography:

Castoriadis, Cornelius, The Athenian democracy and its significance for us  today, Athens, Ypsilon, 2005 (in Greek).

Αgamben Giorgio, Homo Sacer:Sovereign power and bare life, trans. Daniel

Heller-Roazen, Stanford California: Stanford University Press,1998.

Canfora, Luciano, Democracy in Europe: A history of an ideology, trans. by Simon Jones, Oxford, Blackwell, 2006. 

Held, David, Models of democracy, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2006.

Lefort, Claude, L’ invention democratique: les limites de la domination totalitaire, Paris, Fayard 1981.

Ranciere, Jacques, The hatred of democracy, trans. by Steve Corcoran, London, Verso, 2014.

Schmidt, Manfred G., Theories of Democracy, trans. by E. Dekavalla, Athens, Savvalas, 2004 (in Greek).


Teaching Methods:

Lectures. Presentations. Essays


Evaluation Methods:

Evaluation of presentations and essays.


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