What are some of the ways in which democracy has been defined and practiced? How should ordinary people participate in political decision-making? What constitutes a fair and legitimate decision-making process? What are some effective mechanisms, strategies, and recipes for creating participatory governance? This course will draw from political philosophy, political theory, postcolonial studies, and globalization studies. The course takes up influential meanings and applications of the concepts of democracy and participatory governance. Beginning with the history of the “term” democracy in the West, we will explore some of the major problematizations and expansions of this crucial political concept. We then move to examine numerous case studies in participatory governance and deliberative democracy from around the world. Students will complete critical papers and research projects; they will also pursue practical local projects in community building, community governance, and the development of community policies.