This Is What (Social) Democracy Looks Like!

Winter 2018 and Spring 2018 quarters

Taught by


What is “social democracy”? Generally distinguished from other forms of democracy by the central importance it places on minimizing social inequalities, social democracy holds forth the promises of helping us to understand and reorient interpersonal relationships, economics, and human nature. What can we learn from social democratic practices, which have emerged in different times, in different places, in different cultures, and in different political contexts? What societal ills can social democratic governance help to cure, and what new societal challenges can it create?  From FDR’s New Deal, to Occupy Wall Street, to the campaign of Bernie Sanders, many Americans have sought answers to such questions.

Join us for this two-quarter program, in which we will explore both the theory and practice of social democracy through texts in political and social theory as well as accounts of actual social and political exercises that fit the general model of social democracy. We will also explore possibilities for and barriers to advancing the practice of social democracy in the United States and elsewhere.  Students enrolled in the program should also expect plenty of opportunities to develop their writing skills through a final research project on a social democratic issue or institution of their choice. Credit may be awarded in philosophy, political economy, and geography.

Program Details

Fields of Study

geography philosophy political economy

Preparatory For

philosophy, political economy, political science, government, and public policy. 


Winter Open Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Mon/Wed 6-10pm

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


2017-10-18Schedule updated: Class now meets 6-10pm (was 6-9:30pm)