Free Online Course on Democracy and Development

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is offering free online course on Democracy and Development: Perspectives from Africa. The course is for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of African politics; learning about relationship between democratic politics and the attainment of improved human development; and/or obtaining an introduction to political science approaches to these topics.

Applicants will learn about the drivers of democratic development in contemporary Africa. The course will start on September 26, 2017.

Course At A Glance

Length: 7 weeks
Effort: 3-4 hours pw
Subject: Social Sciences
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course Starts on September 26, 2017

Providers’ Details

Massachusetts Institute of Technology — a coeducational, privately endowed research university founded in 1861 — is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Learn more about MIT. Through MITx, the Institute furthers its commitment to improving education worldwide.

About This Course

On a continent once dominated by closed political systems, democratic political institutions have taken root in more than a dozen African countries over the past 20 years. In this course, you’ll learn about this remarkable experiment, and try to better understand both the opportunities and the challenges of democratic governance.

Each week, MIT Professor Evan Lieberman will introduce key topics in the study of democratic development in Africa, and highlight key ideas and insights from various African colleagues. Students will gain a solid introduction to African political development using analytical tools from the social sciences.

Why Take This Course?

The course is for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of African politics; learning about relationship between democratic politics and the attainment of improved human development; and/or obtaining an introduction to political science approaches to these topics.

Learning Outcomes

  • Impact of slavery, colonial rule, and geography on contemporary political and economic development.
  • How various democratic institutional designs are being used in African democracies, and the ways they shape society.
  • How to understand the identities and interests of African citizens, and how those get articulated in democratic polities.
  • The workings of the judiciary, and the innovative ways the justice system expands human rights in African democracies
  • Develop an overall picture of the major challenges and opportunities in African states, and the strategic ways citizens, governments, and civil society are working towards developing better functioning states and communities.

Instructors

Evan Lieberman

Total Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa, MIT

Requirements

None

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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