x !
Archived teaching schedules 2016–2017
You are browsing archived teaching schedule. Current teaching schedules can be found here.
POLVOA31/32/52 Democracy and Representation 5 ECTS
Implementation is also a part of open university teaching
Period I Period II Period II Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Intermediate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Degree Programme in Politics
Political Science
School of Management

General description

After completing the course students will be familiar with the formative moments and concepts of democracy in western societies: from demokratia in ancient Athens through Middle East and Italian republics to the American and French revolutions. The concept of representation will be introduced in relation to the revolutions and as an idea profoundly affecting our understanding of modern regimes today. During the course students will engage in intensive reading and discussing a variety of texts and writing summaries of them, thus learning how to read conceptually and summarize effectively.

Course schedule:

Jan 30: Introduction and instructions

Feb 2: Greek and eastern democracies (Hornblower, Pericles, Keane pp. 101–126)

Feb 6: Early parliaments and Italian city-republics (Keane pp. 169–188, Skinner)

Feb 9: American revolution (Wood, Madison)

Feb 13: French revolution (Fontana, Hobson)

Feb 16: Critical and radical democratic theory (Mendus, Rancière, Phillips)

Feb 20: Concept of representation (Pitkin, Urbinati 1998 & 2010)

March 2: Feedback

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Maija Hannele Mattila, Teacher responsible


30-Jan-2017 – 2-Mar-2017
Seminar 16 hours
Mon 30-Jan-2017 at 14-16, Pinni A4086
Thu 2-Feb-2017 at 10-12, Pinni A2089
Mon 6-Feb-2017 at 14-16, Pinni A3103
Thu 9-Feb-2017 at 10-12, Pinni A3107
Mon 13-Feb-2017 at 14-16, Pinni A3103
Thu 16-Feb-2017 at 10-12, Pinni A2089
Mon 20-Feb-2017 at 14-16, Pinni A2089
Thu 2-Mar-2017 at 10-12, Pinni A2089


Numeric 1-5.

Evaluation criteria

The course consists of discussions during seminars, short summaries of the reading material for each week (250 words) and an essay (8–12 pages). Evaluation will be based on the written assignments (they may be written in English or in Finnish).

For the summaries, summarize the key contents of all reading material for the meeting in about 250 words. Send your summary one day prior to the meeting to the teacher (maija.mattila(at)uta.fi).

Essay topic: ”What is democracy?”

– Deadline: February 26 at 23.59

– Submit to the teacher (maija.mattila(at)uta.fi).

– Rather than to reply the question as such, outline different approaches to democracy. You can for example contemplate these questions: How did we come to understand democracy as we understand it today? What historical developments were there? What were the relevant features of democratic (or republican, or representative) thinking in different times? What are the pitfalls of ’mainstream’ democratic thinking? What has representation got to do with democracy? How is democracy different from populism?

– You do not have to answer all these questions, and you can also come up with your own questions instead of these – as long as the essay meets the topic.

– You can gladly use the summaries for the essay – the summaries are meant to help you in writing the essay, not to be on top of the essay.

Study materials

Fontana, Biancamara (1992), Democracy and the French Revolutions. In Dunn, John (ed.), Democracy. The Unfinished Journey 508 BC to AD 1993, pp. 107–124. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison & John Jay, The Federalist Papers. No. 10 (Madison).

Hobson, Christopher (2008), Revolution, Representation and the Foundations of Modern Democracy. In European Journal of Political Theory 7:4, pp. 449–471.

Hornblower, Simon (1992), Creation and Development of Democratic Institutions in Ancient Greece. In Dunn, John (ed.), Democracy. The Unfinished Journey 508 BC to AD 1993, pp. 1–16. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Keane, John (2009), The Life and Death of Democracy. Simon & Schuster, London. Chapter West by East, pp. 101–126 and 169–188.

Mendus, Susan (1992), Losing the Faith: Feminism and Democracy. In Dunn, John (ed.), Democracy. The Unfinished Journey 508 BC to AD 1993, pp. 207–220. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Pericles’ Funeral Oration.

Phillips, Anne (1993), Democracy & Difference. Polity Press, Oxford. > Chapter 5 (Democracy and Difference), pp. 90–102.

Pitkin, Hanna (1967/1972), The Concept of Representation. University of California Press, Berkeley. > Appendix on Etymology pp. 241–52.

Rancière, Jacques (2004), Does Democracy Mean Something? E.g. in Rancière, Jacques, Dissensus. On Politics and Aesthetics, Chapter II, pp. 45–61. Continuum, London / New York.

Skinner, Quentin (1992), The Italian City-Republics. In Dunn, John (ed.), Democracy. The Unfinished Journey 508 BC to AD 1993, pp. 57–70. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Urbinati, Nadia (1998), Democracy and Populism. In Constellations, 5:1, pp. 110–124.

Urbinati, Nadia (2010), Unpolitical Democracy. In Political Theory, 38:1, pp. 65–92.

Wood, Gordon S. (1992), Democracy and the American Revolution. In Dunn, John (ed.), Democracy. The Unfinished Journey 508 BC to AD 1993, pp. 91–106. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Further information

Compulsory preceding course: POLPOP02 Introduction to Political Science (exchange students: equivalent studies at home university).