"We live in a democracy but what is it exactly?": a brief introduction to democracy

Course Dates: 09/02/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

This course is a short introduction to the idea/concept of democracy. What is it? What does it presume? How and why has it evolved overtime from its earliest references to our contemporary understanding of ‘democracy’ as it is used today?


What is the course about?

This course is a brief introduction to the history of the idea of democracy. We all have an ‘idea’ of what democracy is or should be, but how did the idea develop over time and what did it ‘look like’ in the past? The course will provide a historical overview and survey of democracy through the ages: origins of the idea and the concept of “direct democracy” (ancient world); democracy as “representative government” (from around the 18th century); and in more contemporary use – the expansion of what ‘democracy’ entails (in the 20th century onwards). Asking ourselves ‘why’ and ‘how’ did democracy as an idea (or ideal) develop over time?

What will we cover?

- Definitions / understandings of democracy
- Origins of it as an idea
- Characteristics of democracy
- Evolution of democracy as an idea (or ideal) through time.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Explain differing understandings of democracy
- Identify key points in history and associated events/occurrences that coincide with changes to the idea of democracy.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and requires no previous knowledge. A willingness to learn and an open mind are more important than any previous experience.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Interactive tutor presentation, small group and class discussions. Reading and discussion of small sections of texts, images, and possible use of digital technology in the classroom, as appropriate.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No additional costs. It is recommended that you bring a pen and paper, in case you want to take any notes during course.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Check out our range of History and Politics courses on our website.

Tutor Biographies
Dale Mineshima-Lowe

Dale joined City Lit in 2010 and has taught a range of courses on the history and politics programmes. She also teaches in the both the Politics and Geography Departments at Birkbeck, University of London. She has a PhD in Politics from the University of Durham, and has taught at the Universities of Durham, Limerick, Bedfordshire, and has guest lectured at the University of Birmingham. She has a keen interest in American history/politics, European history/politics, democratic transitions & states, and global issues like the environment, migration and civic edudation. When not teaching, Dale is usually found buried in books (both textbooks and fiction!), baking, still making attempts to learn French, hiking, or squeeking away as a beginner - learning to play the violin.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HPC16

Sun, day, 09 Feb - 09 Feb '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £47.00
Concession: £30.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.