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As a theoretical matter, arguably, a healthy democracy is not just a particular set of representative political institutions, but also presumes a complementary pluralistic civil society, and enough citizens possessing a democratic character or sensibility. 

Could you flesh this out?  Could you appeal to the following to do so?

-       Joseph Roth, in the 20s, tries to get Germans to see themselves more clearly, while also in effect modeling a liberal-democratic sensibility and sympathy for others.

-       Arnold Wolfers, in 1932, addressing a European audience, reflecting on reasons for the German ‘crisis’.


Portrait pictures matter!

-       Could you recognize and correctly name the key (and minor) figures.


Other pictures also matter!

-       If I gave you a particular work of art, architecture, political poster etc, could you say something about how it was variously understood or read at the time, in relation to …


The 11 lines of explanation for the demise of the Weimar Republic stress particular sorts of independent variables and causal dynamics.

-       Are you familiar with all of them?

-       Could you articulate each briefly but with specificity?

-       Could you place them in the proper chronological order?

-       Which one do you find most compelling? Why?

-       Which one do you find least compelling? Why?


This is not a course about contemporary US or global politics.  Still, what lessons might you draw from the historical experience of Weimar for improving or at least guarding democracy, and/or advancing the process of democratization?



pictures, short answer, causality map, one essay