Democracy and its challenges in the 21st century

Short course

Date: 12.10.2023 - 16.11.2023
: 75 € ( VAT 0 %)
: 28.09.2023
: English
: Helsinki
: Matteo Stocchetti

·       What does the course cover? - In this course we will look at democracy in the 21st century, to the nature of the challenges facing democratic societies in Europe and elsewhere and to the nature of the responses that could address these challenges. The main knowledge competences of this course include the main theories and concepts of democracy, main issues and debates concerning the challenges and threats to democracy and the main methods associated with the use of available knowledge in the relevant debates.

Which concrete skills will the participants practice/develop? - Participants to the course will learn analytical and interpretative skills relating to the challenges facing democracy in the 21st century. The dissemination of these skills among citizens and through all professional domains is important to strengthen the resilience of democratic institutions and regimes in tackling these challenges and the crisis of democracy.

What will the participants learn/become better at? Participants to this course will be better equipped to resist propaganda and misinformation. They will develop competences and more effective strategies to defends their rights and perform their duties as democratic citizens. They will also develop resiliency against the influence of anti-democratic ideas and ideologies. In relation to the communicative dimension of democratic politics, participant to this course will learn to interpret and anticipate the impact of media texts; to recognize the influence of non-democratic ideologies in political communication, news and advertisement; to engage with the challenges facing democracy as these present themselves in their professional life. 

The main learning goals of the course is to provide the conceptual tools to engage with and tentatively answer to the following questions:

  • What is democracy?
  • What are its strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the factors that contributes to its strengths?
  • What are the factors that contributes to its weaknesses?
  • What are the competences that citizens should develop to protect and support democracy and democratic politics against the influence of anti-democratic ideas and ideologies?
  • What can be done, individually and collectively, to resist the influence of non-democratic ideologies in democratic societies?

 ·       Teaching methods – Lectures 20%, tutorial 10%, individual work 70

·    The work load for the whole of the course is 5 credits or 133 hrs which divided by 5 weeks makes an average of 26,6 hrs per week.

·       Evenings of week days from 15:00 to 18:00 From Thursday12.10 (week 41) to Thursday 16.11 (week 45). Interruption of 19.10.


·    Preferably on campus. Lecture will not be recorded

·       Course examination for the full course (5 credits) consists of an essay. Examination for each unit (1 credit) consist of a test

-Is it an area going through a major shift at the moment?

Democracy is an ‘area’ going through a major and dangerous shift indeed. Almost every discussion about democracy features the idea that democracy is in crisis as a result of a variety of challenges relating to new communication technologies, economics, international politics, education etc. The strengthening of democracy urgently requires the recovery of neglected democratic competences among the citizenry.

-What development within this field does the course discuss?


The course discusses the causes of this crisis and the challenges facing democracy, the cause and nature of these challenges and the possible remedies within the professional field of the target audience.  Furthermore in this course we will discuss and develop the fundamental competences necessary to resists the influence of undemocratic ideas and ideology and to support active participation in democratic politics.

Target Groups

  • young journalists & reporters
  • professional educators
  • scriptwriters and content producers
  • artists
  • members of political parties
  • members of labour unions
  • NGOs managers and activists
  • cultural activists and producers at early stage of their careers

Independent filmmakers

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