Each Democracy Lab as part of the Democracy Initiative will bring the issues explored in the project into the classroom as part of the new Forums Curriculum in UVA's College of Arts & Sciences.
The Democratic Statecraft Forum
Students in this Forum will begin with an introductory seminar, “Democracies in the World,” that requires students to grapple with the challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. These challenges come in at least three forms: external challenges from authoritarian rivals, security threats, and the instabilities of a globalizing world; internal threats from authoritarian populism, new media dynamics, and other forces confronting traditional democratic institutions; and challenges to the economic and material foundations of democratic nations. The introductory seminar will introduce students to the nature of these challenges, including both presentations from a multidisciplinary group of University of Virginia faculty as well as invited speakers from the U.S. government, think tanks, and other organizations confronting these problems today.
Students will take four required courses (PLIR 1010, ECON 2010, PHIL 2420, and STAT 2120) that will provide students with the social scientific and analytical tools to rigorously evaluate the challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. In addition, students will take elective courses introducing them to the origins of democratic statecraft, the nature of democratic institutions, and global challenges facing democracies.
The Forum concludes with a capstone course that builds on the themes introduced in the first semester, including a variety of guest speakers and a final capstone project that asks students to write a policy prescription for safeguarding democratic institutions around the world in the 21st century.