Global Engagement > Partnerships > Programs for Partner Institutions > University of Dubrovnik - Essence of Democracy

The Essence of Democracy

  • Project summary:

    • This GLE project initially began with regular synchronous class-to-class discussions about political problems and issues, exploring the sharp differences in perception of and experiences with “democracy” in Croatia and the US. During those initial iterations of the project, students:
      • Wrote a reflective and thoughtful essay (8-12 pages) indicating their evaluation of the significance of the longevity of “democratic systems” and their challenges and prospects.
      • Produced a final set of generalizations and assessments based on a-synchronous session
      • Prepared assignments and provide oral contributions to the four synchronous sessions
      • Prepared their own “operational definitions of “democracy” in advance of Winter Quarter beginning.
      • Prepared a 15 minute statement about the argument for and against defining democracy
      • Discussed a sense of what generalizations are possible and assessed the GLE in broad terms.
    • Well into the second year, the two professors uncovered a challenge that spawned a commitment to address the problem. The absence of civic education in the public school system in Croatia could be addressed with the creation of a digital game to introduce students to basic political concepts. During the ensuing two years, collaboration has created the game and it will be tested this Spring with the creation of an Erasmus Plus program that will sponsor four DePaul students to study in Dubrovnik. The electronic discussions continue and it is planned to enable Dubrovnik students to visit DePaul at some future time.
  • Project length:

    • 4 weeks
  • Technology tools used:

    • Polycom, Skype
  • Communication Type/Interaction Mode:

    • Synchronous
    • Asynchronous
    • Mobility visits to Dubrovnik & Chicago
  • Learning outcomes:

    • To develop a mutual appreciation for the similarities and differences between a very old democracy and a very new one.
    • To illuminate the challenges of inter-cultural communication and find effective political terms for key phenomena.
    • To stimulate the development of practical tools for enhancing civic education in Croatia.

    Reflection Component:

    • Synchronous and in-person reflections. We have used our mobility-enhance visits to share ideas and reflect on the progress to date. Students have rotated into the project and often shared their impressions as they left the program.
  • Richard Farkas

    Richard Farkas

    Institution: DePaul University
    Discipline: Political Science
    Course name: Comparing Dictatorship & Democracy

    Pero Maldini

    Dr. Pero Maldini

    InstitutionUniversity of Dubrovnik
    Discipline: Political Science
    Course name: Croatian Political System/Contemporary Political Processes


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