You updated your password.

Reset Password

Enter the email address you used to create your account. We will email you instructions on how to reset your password.

Forgot Your Email Address? Contact Us

Reset Your Password

SHOW
SHOW

Democracy and Its Alternatives

Dig into democracy’s definitions, duties, debates, and difficulties, with special attention to how democratic governments have worked—or not—around the world and throughout time.
Democracy and Its Alternatives is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 19.
  • y_2022, m_9, d_24, h_20
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.34
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_0, tr_19
  • loc_en_CA, sid_8038, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getAggregateRating, 49.73ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Democracy and Its Alternatives Democracy and Its Alternatives piqued my interest because of my perception that the US and many European democracies are under threat of devolving into authoritarianism. The intolerance and threats of violence against vulnerable minorities is reminiscent of pre WW2 Germany. This course provides an overview of how different nations evolved and currently operate under a variety of political systems. It has left me with food for thought on how our current democracy might morf into something very different.
Date published: 2022-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wide ranging and pertinent Very enjoyable presentation. I learned a great deal and I thank the professor. Given the current rhetoric of "democracy under attack " from both sides,this lecture will provide some sanity to the inherent problems of US-style democracy and possibly an acceptance of them.The melodramatic media presentations may be minimized.
Date published: 2022-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good for Layperson easy to follow for layperson-watched this for research- lecturer not boring and personable-gives connections to everyday life & current real world-segments manageable as chunked-would probably be ok for high school level and up-actually surprised to realize how none of this was ever part of my previous education (basic history courses way back) & how pertinent the content is to today's political climate in US & abroad
Date published: 2022-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Politics without political influence I started this course out of mild curiosity, but ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Most things dealing with politics has a political slant of one type or another, but while some of the concepts took a bit of thinking to accept (my bias not the professors) at no point did I feel that any aspect was being pushed as better than another. The course does provide many aspects of human society and the governments that have been created to help people live within those societies. Things that worked, and some that didn't, and others that did and didn't based on which perspective you use to view it. Very pleased with this one.
Date published: 2022-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent lecturer Dr. Hollander has a great command of the subject and an engaging way of presenting it. I very much enjoyed the course.
Date published: 2022-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Crucial for Understanding Political Dysfunction If you keep up with current events, you know that society has a problem. People are more polarized than ever, nobody can find common ground, and everybody seems to be on edge. But how did things get so bad? When and why did politics get so divisive? And is there a path back to normal? Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if the path starts with Professor Hollander’s Great Course. This course covers the nitty-gritty of modern-day politics. The professor is interesting and even-handed, and focuses more on explaining why governments fail than on assigning blame. He’s very knowledgeable about government and politics both in the US and around the world, and backs up his explanations with exciting illustrations, clear graphics, and real-world examples. I watched it myself, and then ordered one as a gift for my parents. It even comes with a handy, illustrated guidebook that outlines the lectures and helps you follow along. Should be required watching for all voters or anyone wishing to understand the state we’re in.
Date published: 2022-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really great explanations using some simple themes This course covered a lot of different kinds of institutions across countries around the world, using a few key analytic tools common to political science. It really helps highlight how everything from parliaments to central banks work, and shines a lot of light on how the United States is similar and different from other advanced democracies. I would especially recommend this course for anyone starting out as a political science major in college who might be looking for a head start, or a high school student looking to take a swing at the Comparative Government AP test.
Date published: 2022-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good for college-bound students … and their parent I’m a college advisor and spend a lot of time working with university-bound students and their parents. This course is exactly what we need to get the next generation interested in studying everything from politics to history, law, and international relations. As the students I work with go to college, I hope they find courses that are as important and relevant as “Democracy and Its Alternatives.” But this course also has something to offer the rest of us, whether we’re students, parents, professionals or all of the above. We’re all citizens, and “Democracy and Its Alternatives” paints a clear and unbiased (if not always optimistic) picture of how governments function, why they fail, and what we, as citizens, can do about it. If you want to know more about law, politics and government in today’s world, this is the course for you!
Date published: 2022-08-31
  • y_2022, m_9, d_24, h_20
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.34
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_0, tr_19
  • loc_en_CA, sid_8038, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 3.48ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT

Overview

Political science, history, and current affairs rolled into one, Democracy and its Alternatives investigates democratic government in theory and practice. With political scientist Ethan Hollander as your expert guide, you will explore democracy from all available angles with a robust toolbox of political philosophy, world history, international relations, individual case studies, and carefully constructed thought experiments.

About

Ethan Hollander

One thing that’s certain is that we’ll never improve on our current state of affairs unless we understand it.

INSTITUTION

Wabash College

Ethan Hollander is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wabash College. He earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, where he was also a faculty fellow. He has received the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Scholar distinction and The Story Collider podcast’s Artistic Director’s Pick award. He is the author of Hegemony and the Holocaust: State Power and Jewish Survival in Occupied Europe, and he has published research on authoritarian rule in Eastern Europe and democratization in the Middle East.

By This Professor

Democracy and Its Alternatives
854
Democracy and Its Alternatives

Trailer

Is Democracy Built to Last?

01: Is Democracy Built to Last?

In the course’s inaugural lesson, define politics and political science. Dive into democratic backsliding across the world, as well as the confluence of geopolitical and economic factors that led to this crisis point. And evaluate the strength of democracy in light of populism, radicalism, polarization, and paralysis.

22 min
Politics and Personal Sacrifice

02: Politics and Personal Sacrifice

How does a group fractured by competing interests come to a decision, and when does it make sense to sacrifice one’s personal freedoms for the collective good? Examine how public goods are provisioned and distributed. See how governments square diffuse and concentrated interests. And survey three strategies for political decision-making.

22 min
Government and the Invention of Law

03: Government and the Invention of Law

What is law? When was it invented and why? How do governments enforce the laws that they create? And how do constitutions—foundational laws that determine how all other laws are made—differ around the world?

21 min
The Rise of the Modern State

04: The Rise of the Modern State

The overwhelming majority of us live in what are called sovereign states, the fundamental unit of political organization. Dive into the history of the modern state, traversing medieval and early modern Europe from feudalism to the Treaty of Westphalia, and examine the religious, cultural, and economic changes that reoriented political authority in the West.

20 min
States, Nations, and Nationalism

05: States, Nations, and Nationalism

Nationalism and ethnic conflict are centuries old. Coupled with high-tech weaponry, however, they can be extraordinarily deadly. Investigate nationalism through a handful of case studies, exploring how ethnic, religious, or linguistic conflict has unfolded in places like Iraq and Turkey, how it is mitigated in Switzerland and Belgium, and the threat it poses in Catalonia and Scotland.

21 min
Why Care about Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau?

06: Why Care about Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau?

Put on your philosopher’s hat to explore some classical political theory. Dive into the arguments and ideas of famous political theorists Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Determine what states are legitimately and morally capable of from all three viewpoints. And finish the lesson by evaluating social contract theory in European and American contexts.

23 min
Who Gets to Vote?

07: Who Gets to Vote?

What are the three fundamental characteristics of democracy? And what limitations on the right to vote are compatible with democratic government? Explore the advantages and disadvantages of direct and indirect democracy. Finish by examining illberal democracies and what they look like.

22 min
Voters and the Dangers of Too Much Democracy

08: Voters and the Dangers of Too Much Democracy

Continue your dive into democracy by zooming in on its most glaring flaws. Move from issues like voter apathy to the chilling specter of mob rule, evaluating these real-world treats to democracy, as well as the potential for democracy to overcome them.

22 min
Should Presidents or Parliaments Lead?

09: Should Presidents or Parliaments Lead?

What is the difference between a president and a prime minister? How much power should the chief executive wield? And which is more stable, presidential or parliamentary democracy?

23 min
The Vote Counter Decides Everything

10: The Vote Counter Decides Everything

Voting is a defining feature of any democracy? But how are votes tabulated? And what even counts as a majority? Well, when it comes to tabulating election results, there is no single formula; there are many. Survey three voting systems—plurality voting, two-round system, and ranked-choice voting.

23 min
Do Political Parties Help or Hurt?

11: Do Political Parties Help or Hurt?

Political parties, detested by the likes of George Washington and John Adams, are nevertheless key features of modern democracies. What role do they play when it comes to elections and policymaking? How do they differ across the world? And are multi-party systems better than two-party systems? Examine these questions and more.

24 min
The Problems with Federalism

12: The Problems with Federalism

In 1790, a federation was born in the United States. But states remained distinct and powerful political entities, and separatism remains a potent threat to federal governments across the world. At the course’s halfway point, turn your attention to federations comparatively, legally, and in practice, evaluating how they function from Canada to Nigeria.

26 min
Are Courts and Constitutions Democratic?

13: Are Courts and Constitutions Democratic?

Healthy democracies must have constitutions and courts, but constitutions are usually old, and judges are often unelected. How do we make sense of this strange paradox? From the United States to Japan, explore constitutions and courts around the world, and see how democracy fits into the mix—if at all.

21 min
The Controversial Politics of Central Banks

14: The Controversial Politics of Central Banks

Central banks, powerful custodians of currency and the economy, deserve our attention. Explore how these banks work, as well as the powers they wield. Understand why central bank administrators and politicians so often clash. And evaluate the benefits and shortcomings of independent central banks, using contemporary examples.

22 min
Who Backs Authoritarians?

15: Who Backs Authoritarians?

The truth of the matter is that authoritarianism can make for an appealing alternative to democracy. Explore this notorious form of government by evaluating how dictatorships work and how they differ around the world.

24 min
The Dictator’s Playbook

16: The Dictator’s Playbook

How does authoritarianism emerge in a country? And can we predict when and whether a dictator will come to power? From violent revolution in Cuba to a military coup in Egypt and democratic elections in Nazi Germany, you will investigate the origins of dictatorships along with how strongmen gain and maintain power.

20 min
When States Fail, What Comes Next?

17: When States Fail, What Comes Next?

Believe it or not, whole states can fail—and this includes dictatorships as well as democracies. What is state failure? Why do states fail? And what threats do failed states pose to the rest of us?

22 min
Partition, Peacekeeping, and Human Crisis

18: Partition, Peacekeeping, and Human Crisis

What is humanitarian intervention? And should the international community intervene to prevent a genocide or to keep the peace between warring factions? If not, what alternatives exist to avert humanitarian catastrophe? Closely examine and analyze these questions through a diverse array of global case studies.

24 min
What Really Causes Wealth and Poverty?

19: What Really Causes Wealth and Poverty?

Why are some nations rich and others poor? Examine concepts like GDP, the resource curse, colonialism, and the economy of trust to see how they affect economic development. And consider whether econmic development is always a desireable goal in the first place.

23 min
The Global Fault Lines of Trade

20: The Global Fault Lines of Trade

Why is international trade so controversial? And why does protectionism find support from both sides of the political spectrum? Delve into the global battle between free trade and protectionism, moving from Bill Clinton’s North American Free Trade Agreement to the US-China trade wars.

23 min
Is the European Union a Success or Failure?

21: Is the European Union a Success or Failure?

The European Union is a unique and mysterious institution. But what is it? How is it organized? And how has it fared in the face of a sovereign debt crisis, a refugee crisis, and Brexit?

25 min
When the Balance of Power Breaks Down

22: When the Balance of Power Breaks Down

When balances of power break down, disaster can strike. How can a powerful institution—like a government—be forced to keep its promises? And what is the essential role of government in the management of risk?

25 min
Why It’s So Hard to Work Together

23: Why It’s So Hard to Work Together

Politics requires collective action. But that is much easier said than done. How does the government enable collective action? And when can collective action problems solve themselves?

24 min
Gridlock and Democracy

24: Gridlock and Democracy

Conclude the course with an overview of modern democracy, in America and abroad. Survey political history from the rise of agricultural societies to the technological revolution of today. Review the merits and pitfalls of democracy and its alternatives. And close by examining the role international agreements play in global governance.

26 min