The course addresses questions such as why do we value democracy? What exactly do we value in democracy? What is the relationship between democracy and rights? Which form of democratic decision-making best embodies democratic values? Which institutional settings are more conducive to democratic participation? What is/should be the relationship between different levels of democratic governance (local, national, supranational)? Are our institutions democratic? How can women and minorities be better represented in them? The course addresses these and further questions by looking both at insights of democratic theory and at the empirical study of democratic institutions.