This is a formative assignment, meaning it is expected to demonstrate understanding
and reflection of course material, including assigned reading, up to and including
Topic 9 (week of November 23). The assignment should demonstrate thoughtful,
original reflection on key texts assigned for the course. Arguments made should be
backed up with analytical reasoning and consideration of appropriate evidence (from
peer-reviewed sources or primary sources). Assignments will be evaluated according to
their originality, cohesion, depth of understanding of required course material, and
precision of communication. Expected length: 7-10 pages, typed, double-spaced. See
additional information, Statement on Written Work, and Late Papers in page 3-4 of
the course outline.
Additional Instructions: Choose one of the following three questions and answer fully.
Your assignment should show awareness of content covered in online video lectures.
Cite your sources appropriately, while writing in your own words as much as possible.
You may supplement your points with outside research and/or examples from
countries, but if you do so, make sure you have supported all statements with facts
and references. Include a bibliography. MLA style is preferred; include a title page.
1. How should democracies protect the rights of minority groups (e.g. ethnic,
religious, racialized minorities? Should democracies in the real world protect
minority groups in the same way, or in different ways? Explain in detail. Your
answer should discuss at least four of the following authors: Marshall, Coates,
Taylor, Kymlicka, Mill, de Tocqueville, and Dahl.
2. Do democracies make progress over time, in expanding democratic rights and
freedoms? Or do they regress? (Alternatives are possible; for example, there
might be progress in some areas and setbacks in other areas). Discuss and
critique the views on democracy and progress of at least four of the following
authors: Aristotle, Marshall, Wollstonecraft, Dahl, de Tocqueville, and Mill.
3. How should a democracy balance individual economic freedom and social
equality? Here, the readings offer some very different views. Compare and
critique the views of at least four of the following: Aristotle, Marshall,
Schumpeter, Lenin, Dahl, and Mill.