Pay particular attention to watershed events, that is, events that caused significant changes in the social, political, or economic life of the country.
Examine the ethnic, religious, or linguistic divisions within the country,
emphasizing the impact these divisions have had on the political development of the
country, and what the government has done (if anything) about those divisions.
Structure of government
Describe the general structure and organization of the
government. Identify the key state institutions such as executive and bureaucratic offices, legislative bodies, high courts, etc. State what the powers and duties are of these institutions, and how they operate (or fail to operate, as the case may be). For example, if you were doing your country study on the United States you would describe it as a federal republic with three co-equal branches of government at the national level, fifty sub-national governments. You would explain the division of powers between the federal and state governments (federalism) and describe the powers and duties of each of the three branches of the federal government (separation of powers), and the system of checks and balances. Within each branch you would identify the key offices and agencies (executive branch would include the office of the president, the cabinet departments and other agencies of the bureaucracy; the legislative branch consists of the House and the Senate, etc.) and explain what they do, and how they do it. You would also emphasize the role of courts, and comment on the degree of independence with which they operate, and the power of the courts to hold the other branches accountable.
,if applicable. Describe the type of electoral system used in the
country, and identify the key offices staffed by elected officials. Analyze the fairness of the electoral system in comparison with that of other countries.
Here you should refer to reports from human rights organizations, news
reports, and reports from the US and other governments regarding respect for and protection of human rights.
Role of political parties
Identify the major political parties, if any, and describe their
ideologies. Explain the impact each has had, or wishes to have, on the political system of the country.
Role of military
IF involved in the political process. For countries whose militaries are
under civilian control and do not interfere in the political process, a simple statement to that effect will suffice.
The economic system.
Describe the state of the economy in the country, including GDP,
GDP per capita, general stage of development, pattern of income distribution, major imports and exports, and major trading partners. Indicate the degree to which the government tries to manage or direct the economy, and how it does so. Describe any significant welfare state programs in the country if possible, or the countrys general approach to welfare programs.
Classify the regime type based on what youve learned in class about the different kinds of regimes. Explain whether the regime is a democratic one or an authoritarian one, or something in between. If its an authoritarian regime, explain what kind it is.
Explain clearly why you think the regime should be thus classified.
The major political issues the government of the country is currently dealing with. Here you will have to research news reports from reputable organizations to know whats going on. Focus on the major issues the country is faced with, and what the countrys government is doing (or failing to do) about them.
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