17.53 Democratization in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Fall 2001

Photograph of Nelson Mandela voting in 1994 elections.
Nelson Mandella voting in 1994 elections.  (Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of State.)

Course Highlights

This course features a list of web resources and paper assignments exploring democratic development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Course Description

Recent years have seen an astonishing spread of democracy to many African, Asian, and Latin American countries. What caused these dramatic political transitions? What challenges do democratizing countries in the Third World face? Will these new democracies endure? We will take up these questions using film, fiction, and popular journalism, as well as scholarly research. We will also focus on a small number of countries (Brazil, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Singapore, and Sri Lanka) in order to explore in greater depth some of the most important political challenges faced by developing countries. Although the class focuses on the developing world, many of the lessons should "travel" to democratizing countries in other regions.

Instructions for Citation

Professors at other institutions are welcome to use these materials, in whole or in part, for teaching purposes.

Use of the materials should be cited as follows: Chappell Lawson, MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html) course materials for 17.53 (Democratization in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Fall 2001), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, downloaded on [Insert Date].

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Chappell Lawson
Prof. Frederic Schaffer

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
2 hours / session

One session / week
1 hour / session