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you have seen various ways the different rights of individuals (citizenship,
social and political) within countries have been hurt either through direct state policy, control by the elite
or groups of individuals against the expansion of rights to other groups. You will apply this knowledge to
write an editorial article (intended for the general public who read newspapers) in which you explore why
a country of your choice has seen its level of democracy (or how much rights citizens have) decline in
recent years.
GENERAL SOURCES: To help you choose a country, you can use Freedom House’s freedom in the
world score and its reports:
To have some general background about the country, you can explore the above Freedomhouse website,
but also use the CIA factbook:
For the academic source, use jstor, Academic Search Complete, Google Scholar, One Search or a
database you feel comfortable with to do a search. Use the name of the country with keywords such as
democracy, citizenship rights, authoritarianism etc…You only need one well-written academic source.
You are also expected to use at least 2 sources from our course. Even if they are not directly about your
country they will help give a general framework.
1) Summarize the information that you found about the country to a general public by, for instance,
touching on issues of whose rights are being violated, why has democracy been hurt in recent
years etc…(about one page)
2) Explain to the reader (1) how some of the perspectives we have seen and the additional source
you will have found can help explain the changes in rights (about two pages) (2) how the new
source you found further highlights the usefulness of this framework.
3) Offer a solution, based on your analysis, of how this can be improved. Are there political elites
who should be pressured by the international community? Are there groups who should be
protected? Can there be social changes brought so that the country is more equal?
Tips for each section:
1) For section 1. Remember, you do not want to bore the reader with too much information, but you
also want to share some information with someone who does not have access to the same
information. Instead of saying COUNTRY A’s freedom house score decreased, try to give two
figures that show that it is low or has decreased. You can further give a vivid example of how
someone or a group has been impacted by the change.
2) For section 2, make sure that you give enough background to understand the perspectives we
have seen without getting into too much detail. For instance you can say something like
Quadagno (a sociologist) has demonstrated that state policy hurts policy rights or something like
Mann has shown that struggle over economic resources has led to violence between groups
etc…to then link to a description of what is going on today.
3) For section 3. Think about what kinds of solutions would be easy to implement. It could be
programs to help minorities, ways to provide incentives to the political elite to change their ways


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