This assignment has two components: a summary component and an analysis component.
Each component should at minimum be 2 pages long.
You may write the assignment as a Memo to someone who is in charge of a non-profit concerned with issues of democracy such as the United States Institute of Peace or the American Civil Liberties Union, but you don’t have to write it that way if doing so confuses you.
Part 1 of the assignment is to summarize two chapters from How Democracies Die (this section will be worth half of your assignment grade):
You must choose at least one of the following chapters: 4, 5 or 9 (these chapters cover international cases)
You may choose any other chapter as a second chapter (the other chapters mostly cover America)
You can bullet-point your summaries, but please make sure to separate the chapters
You must use some quotes and some paraphrases
Please cite the text appropriately
Part 2 of the assignment is to analyze the summaries that you included. Analysis involves breaking down an issue in order to evaluate it with the goal of discovering new connections. Analysis can involve comparison, evaluation and linking an issue to a broader context or significance. You may add information from the rest of the book in this section (meaning the parts of the book you didn’t summarize), but please make sure to focus on what you did summarize. Please note the following in your analysis section (which will be worth the other half of your grade). This section should be written in paragraph/essay form not as a series of short-answer responses:
What ramifications does the summary information/data have for the future of democracy in the world and in America?
What is the significance of this information?
What findings/discoveries/new knowledge arise from a comparison of the information from the two chapters? (And if you want, what findings arise from adding other information from the book?)
What findings arise when you add new information from outside sources (like the news) to the summary information?
Evaluate whether you think this is a critical issue for the future of the world and for people like you and explain why. (Here you can touch on the whole book in addition to your summaries if you would like).
Is it too easy to undo democracy? If so, what safeguards are needed?