States, State Capacity and State Fragility


In module 4.1 we are going to be talking about regime type, trends in democracy, and the “third wave” of democratization that brought free and fair elections, as well as civil liberties, to many countries in the developing world.

In module 4.2 we’ll talk about authoritarian and hybrid regimes and how they differ from democracies. We’ll look closely at the case of Russia and countries in the Middle East to better understand how nondemocratic regimes work in practice. You will develop a Most Different Design System to analyze the causes of democracy, and specifically why some countries are democracies while others remain authoritarian or hybrid regimes

In both modules you will be reading relevant articles and textbook chapters, as well as watch lecture and supporting videos that relay important information about the concepts listed above. You will then take a quiz to ensure you have understood what you read. These quizzes will prepare you for the final exam.


By the end of unit, you should be able to:

  • Identify the difference between democratic, authoritarian, and hybrid regimes. (Course objectives 1, 3, & 5)
  • Analyze the stability of democratic and authoritarian regimes. (Course objectives 1, 3, 4, & 5)
  • Define the concept of “democratic consolidation”. (Course objectives 1 & 3)
  • Analyze the causes of democratic backsliding. (Course objectives (1, 3, & 4)

Lecture Slides

Module 4.1 Slides

Module 4.2 Slides