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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

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POLI 382 (US) Capitalism and Democracy (1)

This course examines the nature of the relationship between capitalism and democracy, in various areas of the world including the U.S.A., from a range of theoretical and historical perspectives. Student will critically assess theories of the development of democracy in capitalist societies as well as of the market's effects on political representation and policy making, and review debates about the tensions and affinities between those systems in the contemporary period. Questions to be addressed include: What explains democratic and authoritarian pathways to economic modernization in the 19th and early 20th centuries? Does the relationship between capitalism and democracy show distinct regional variations, and if so, why? In what ways do capitalism and democracy function in harmony or in friction, and why? What role does market consolidation play in democratic transitions, and vice versa? Are welfare states and distinct national patterns of capitalist organization viable in the 21st century?

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

Prerequisite: Any 200-level POLI course

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Felker