Unit 3 focuses exclusively on the concept of democracy. After defining the concept, this unit focuses on various attributes that characterize democratic states and differentiate them from authoritarian regimes. We then examine processes of democratization and the breakdown of democracy followed by the debate regarding the relationship between democracy and economic development. The unit concludes with a focus on the contemporary case of the Arab Spring.
As you work through unit 3, reflect on the following questions. What differentiates democracies from authoritative regimes? What conditions facilitate democratization and do contemporary trends in the early 21st century support or undermine democratic states? Finally, are those who argue that democracy improves economic outcomes correct in their analysis?