Direct and Deliberative Democracy POLITIC4166

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The aim of this course is to analyse the functioning and consequences of the use of direct democracy and deliberative practices in contemporary political systems.


Typically, the course would be a 1 hr lecture + 2 x 1 hr seminars

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





The summative assessment will consist of two essays of 2,000-2,500 words. Each counts for 50% of the final mark.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No


Course Aims

The adoption and use of direct democracy and deliberative practices is considered to provide citizens a say in the decision-making process and to partially address their increasing dissatisfaction with representative institutions. This course aims to examine a range of theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of direct and deliberative democracy in comparative perspective, over time and across countries. It will focus on the forms, functioning and consequences of these alternatives to representative democracy, and will enhance students' ability to think critically through several contrasting frameworks about citizen participation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ identify and evaluate the normative and empirical dimensions of direct and deliberative democracy;

■ assess and think critically through and with a variety of analytical frameworks that adopt contrasting foci, perspectives, methods, and findings;

■ compare and contrast direct and deliberative arguments with theories of political representation;

■ analyze and differentiate the links that direct and deliberative democracy create between individuals, institutions and the state;

■ develop participatory-based evidence and arguments, and compare these with traditional frameworks in comparative politics, including rational, institutional, and economic approaches.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.