Your your case study will present a comparative state analysis in relation to a key contemporary issue. It should be approximately 3000 words in length, and may be NO MORE than 10% (300 words) more or less than this.
Aims of the report
The report is intended to be an in-depth, comparative analysis. It requires you to:
– Compare and contrast TWO different modern states in relation to ONE of the topics listed below.
– You are free to select whichever states you wish
– BUT in order to compare and contrast, there must be significant differences between them (e.g. a democracy v. an authoritarian state; a developed v. a developing state; a minimal v. an extensive welfare state)
– The analysis should centre on the contemporary period (21st century) – historical background will, of course, be important, but the main focus should be on the present-day
Issues to consider
You will need to analyze issues such as:
a) The meaning(s) and significance of your chosen topic for the modern state
b) How your topic affects/ relates to your two states
c) How each state may have changed over time in terms of the topic
d) Why each state operates in the way that it does
e) The main similarities and differences between the two states in relation to the topic
f) The advantages and disadvantages of each state’s approach to the topic
g) Conclusions about which state may be the more ‘successful’ or ‘effective’
The above list is not intended to be a rigid plan that must be followed – much will depend on the two states and the topic chosen – and how you organize and structure the report will be a matter for you to decide.
As with all written assessments, references and a bibliography in a consistent style of presentation are required.
Case study topics:
1. Governments and policy-making
Compare and contrast two states with different systems of government and the impact this has on policy-making (e.g. presidential v. parliamentary systems)
2. The welfare state
Compare and contrast two states that have adopted different approaches to the delivery of welfare (e.g. free market v. state-centred)
Compare and contrast two states with different types of constitution (e.g. codified v. uncodified, or rigid v. flexible)
Compare and contrast two states that have adopted different approaches to globalization (e.g. embracing free markets v. protectionism)
5. Civil society
Compare and contrast two states with different types of civil society (e.g. free v. restricted)
6. Multiculturalism and citizenship
Compare and contrast two states that have adopted different approaches to multiculturalism and citizenship (e.g. different approaches to integrating immigrants)
7. Protest movements
Compare and contrast two states that have responded differently to the demands of protest movements within their borders (e.g. dialogue/engagement v. repression/violence)
8. Rising and falling states
Compare and contrast two states that have undergone different experiences in terms of their global standing – ‘rising’ or ‘falling’ (this could be in economic, military or political terms).
N.B. these are relative terms – e.g. a state may be in relative economic decline (compared to its competitors), even if it is not in absolute decline.