ST: Dictators and Democracies
Prof: Rick Bairett / Spring 2022
Mar 4, 2022
Prof. Bairrett's courses are always a good mix of material to learn and opportunities to learn it. This course is structured around in-person lectures, with two exams based on the slides and an essay based on the books. He provides a study guide for each of the exams, letting you know exactly what information you should take notes on. Attendance is tracked and will impact your grade at the end. Overall, the course material can be a bit tricky, but because of the study guides and availability of the slides in the course files, it should be easy to pass. The material was interesting for me, as well, and should help anyone who is a PoliSci major/minor better understand how democracies and autocracies come about.
The course covers its namesake and does a dive into how democratic and autocratic states emerge, how they survive, and how they function. It doesn't go too deeply into details, but it does give a great overview of government types from a theory perspective.
Prof. Bairrett expects a lot from his students but will give you plenty of opportunities to reach his expectations. He's understanding if you have a legitimate issue or problem, will work with you, and in general, is a friendly and respectful professor. If you put in the effort, he'll match it with you. He doesn't make his classes too demanding.
Download the study guide, upload it to Google Docs, and write your notes under each of the topics. This is the best way to not only write notes that matter, but it gives you a great thing to print off to study for exams. Work on your essay early, especially the introduction paragraph and rough outline. Meet with him to go over it at least a month before it's due. He will tell you exactly what he wants and expects, and it will make it way easier to write your final draft. The essays aren't long, but you should go over them a few times to make sure you're citing things correctly, and that you're including everything he wants.
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