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What, why democracy? Research and Film Projects about Democracy: Students, Academics and Filmmakers United

Photo of Renske DoorenspleetWhy do political regimes and institutions develop how they do, where they do? What does democracy mean? How do people view democracy, and are there different opinions around the world? Why are some countries democratic and others not? The second-year module 'comparative politics' introduces the core issues, methods, and concepts in the field. The IATL project aims to introduce both academic research projects and film projects into this module.

Research projects: Students work on their own individual research proposal on the topic 'what, why democracy' in which they develop an interesting and relevant research question, describe the relevant theories, concepts and measurements, compare countries, and collect and analyse empirical data. The aim is to put research-led teaching into practice.

Film projects: Students will get the opportunity to develop other skills, such as film making and working together in small groups. Students will make their own film (of around 3 minutes) on the topic 'what, why democracy' – hence using their acquired academic, theoretical and empirical knowledge from this module. The aims are to develop new skills for students, build a link between academics and film makers, use interdisciplinary approaches, and to engage with global events and culture.

'What Why Democracy Festival' (for all students and staff at Warwick): At the beginning of term 3, the Centre for Studies in Democratization will organize a 'What Why Democracy Festival'. At this festival, students will get the opportunity to present both their academic research projects and their films on 'what, why democracy?' A talented film maker will be invited to present her own films related to democracy and other topics in the field of comparative politics, and she will watch and comment the work of the students of this module. The aims of such an event would be to put our theoretical knowledge into practice, and to build a bridge between academics and film makers working on the same topics in comparative politics.

Dr Renske Doorenspleet is Associate Professor in Comparative Politics, at the department of Politics and International Studies, and Director of the Centre for Studies in Democratization. Her research and teaching focuses on comparative politics, democracy and democratization around the world, quantitative and qualitative methodology, and politics in Africa. [More...]