Gendering Illiberalism

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
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Course Description: 

This is a guided reading course that aims to discuss the buzz word of illiberalism critically investigating the loopholes in the literature. The first part of the course analyses the concepts used to talk about the recent developments and looks at the reasons and the consequences of the missing gender analysis. Students are expected to do a small research project covering one gendered aspect of the illiberal turn in a global context.

Learning Outcomes: 

 To know what factors make societies more susceptible to illiberalism,
 To understand the complex relationship between illiberal regimes and their citizens in a comparative and global perspective,
 To be able to present an informed argument on the future of illiberal regimes in the context of globalization and suggest changes in policy and politics,
 To gain the understanding of the differences between illiberal hybrid, democratic and authoritarian regimes from a gender persepctive,
 To become familiar with the major research schools and research questions dealing with illiberal and hybrid regimes, their (normative) premises as well as their strengths and weaknesses,
 To learn how to identify empirical puzzles and how to address them with theoretical knowledge and methodological tools;
 To be skilled in ‘translation’ of research findings into practical policy recommendations,
 To learn how to contribute to ongoing public debate,
 To understand potential and limits of feminist critique of illiberal regimes.
 To distinguish between normative and analytical approaches to social phenomena
 To formulate and present theoretical-analytical arguments, an informed opinion and defend it in a debate
 To demonstrates respect for a pluralistic discussion


Participation (10%) It includes class activity, active, meaningful, and well-informed participation in the class during discussing the readings and the puzzles. Attendance is mandatory.
The Puzzle
Abstract (30%)
Each student will design a research project dealing with a specific puzzle and question related to gendered modus operandi of illiberalism. As research on this topic is has only started a decade ago there are lot of topics to research. Against the background of contemporary research students are asked to formulate 2 hypotheses and with reference to methodological rules select the cases of illiberal regimes, either within a region or across the world or across the time, to test these hypotheses. The aim is to get first-hand experience with the research. The research project will be presented as a PowerPoint presentation of 15 minutes maximum (plus 10-15 minutes of the follow-up Q&A). The presentations will be scheduled to the end of the semester. Students should receive the approval of the instructor on their chosen topic for the research design. This approval is mandatory.
Paper (60%)
Write up your puzzle in a format of a blog post (2000 words) with the required references and hyperlinks. I am hoping for publishable contributions to this ongoing and timely discussion.