Masters in Democratisation


Dr. Fernando Vallespín Oña (IUIOG) and Dr. Richard Youngs (FRIDE).
Academic coordinators:

Dr. Iván Rodríguez Lozano (IUIOG) and MA. Magdalena Segre (FRIDE) 

Presentation and objectives:

‘Democracy is the only legitimate political regime in the world nowadays, but also the most difficult to achieve if we want to satisfy its strict normative requirements.

The aim of this course is to explore the different avenues towards a comprehensive democratic system’.

The new Masters in Democratisation will be directed by Fernando Vallespín, Director of the Ortega y Gasset University Research Institute,

and Richard Youngs, Director of Fride. Democracy stands at a delicate moment that combines both opportunity and risk.

In Europe, economic crisis has placed major trains on representative democracy. The post-Western world order raises questions about

the pre-eminence of democratic actors at the global level. There is more talk of the need for non-Western or non-liberal forms of democracy.

Authoritarian regimes appear emboldened in holding democratic reform at bay. On the other hand, the so-called Arab spring has, in many eyes,

reasserted the appeal of democracy as a universal value. Global civic activism offers the potential for more effective citizen empowerment.

The course will shine a light on these issues of profound existential importance for today’s global politics.


Type: Full-time Intakes: October-June 2013-14

Places available: 30

Practices: Yes

Price: €9,900



Program (60 ECTS)


1. History of democracy

  • City state democracies
  • The emergence of representative democracy
  • Democracy and industrialization
  • Democracy and decolonization
  • The four waves of democratisation

2. Models of democracy

  • Classical democracy
  • Republicanism liberal democracy
  • Direct and participatory democracy
  • Radical democracy
  • Social democracy
  • Reform liberalism
  • Polyarchy and limited democracy

3. Actors of democracy

  • The role of ideology
  • The institutionalization of parties
  • Political leaders
  • Political careers

4. What causes and hinders democratisation?

  • Agency versus structural theories
  • Democratic quality
  • Semi-authoritarianism
  • Hard- versus soft-liners
  • Internal versus external factors

5. Democracy in international relations

  • Democracy and realism
  • Democracy promotion
  • Democracy and liberal international relations theories
  • Democracy and constructivism
  • Security and democracy
  • Democracy and development
  • Multinationals and democracy
  • Cosmopolitan democracy

6. Dissertation

  • At the end of the course, students will have six months to write a dissertation
  • Number of words: 12.000 -15.000 words
  • Topic: To be agreed with the supervisor
  • Deadline: 15 January 2015


  • European democratisation
  • Latin American democratisation
  • Middle Eastern democratisation
  • Asian democratisation
  • African democratisation
  • US foreign policy and democratisation

Other activities included

  • Practical training sessions.
  • Series of meetings with Spanish MFA officials and parliamentarians.
  • Visit to Brussels to meet officials at the European institutions.
  • Guest lectures and workshops with high-level policy-makers and politicians


The admission of an applicant is principally based on academic merit, but the Admissions Committee will also take into

consideration aspects such as the candidate's curriculum vitae and motivation. The admission process is selective, choosing

excellent students with a varied geographical, cultural and linguistic background. 

Academic requirements

Applicants are required to have completed an undergraduate degree or its international equivalent

with good results from an accredited university or college.
Students that apply for the Masters programme before having obtained their undergraduate degree,

will need to provide proof that they will have completed their studies by 23 September 2013. 

Additional requirements 


All students must be proficient in English.
Proof of proficiency in English is demonstrated as follows: 

  • They are native English speakers; OR
  • They have obtained their university degree in a country where English is the official language; OR
  • They have studied for a minimum of a year in an institution of higher education in an English-speaking country
  • (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or United States) or they have earned their university
  • degree in English in any country in the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Turkey.

All other applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language skills. FRIDE accepts the following language certificates:

  • TOEFL: 550 paper-based, 80 iBT (IBEI code: 6567)
  • IELTS: 6.0 or more
  • Cambridge First Certificate: A-C.
  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate or Proficiency: A-C

Admissions process 

The admissions process for the programme is open. All applications must be received by 15 July 2013 (non-EU applicants)

or 21 July 2013 (EU applicants). 
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. The Admissions Committee starts to evaluate applications in May 2013.

Students will be notified of the Committee's decision by email. 

Additional documents

Incomplete applications will not be evaluated by the Admissions Committee and applicants should bear in mind

that it is their responsibility to submit all required documents by the deadline. The curriculum vitae,

the motivation letter and the reference letters must be submitted in English.  
Applicants have to fill in the application form and submit the following documents: 

University degree (certified/legalized copy). Those applicants who have not yet obtained their degree

during the admissions process, but who will have completed (and obtained) their undergraduate degree before

23 September 2013, will also be considered by the Admissions Committee.

  • Academic transcripts (original or certified copy).
  • Brief, up-to-date curriculum vitae. Please indicate both academic and professional experience, as well as extra-curricular activities that may be of interest to the Admissions Committee.
  • For non-native speakers, proof of proficiency in English.
  • Motivation letter. Applicants should describe their professional and personal experience and state the reasons for their interest in pursuing the respective master's programme (500-1,000 words).
  • Two reference letters. These letters should be sent in sealed envelopes that are signed by the referees. The reference letters can be submitted to the Admissions Office by the student or by the referees themselves. The referees can also email their letter from their institutional email address directly to the Admissions Office The reference letter template can be downloaded in pdf.
  • Photocopy of identity card or passport.
  • Recent, passport-size photo (digital).


Click here



Applicants should send all the required documents to:  

Calle Felipe IV, 9 - 1º derecha 28014 Madrid – ESPAÑA - Teléfono: +34 91 244 47 40


Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset (IUIOG)
Secretaría Académica
Calle Fortuny 53
28010, Madrid - España - Teléfono +34 91 700 41 49


Download the brochure

Download the application form