You are asked to produce a 1,200-word theoretical review that will explain, compare and contrast structure-centered and agency-centered approaches to the study of regime change. The aim is to engage with the theory underpinning both approaches.
You should analyze the main aspects of each approach, its main arguments and how the proponents of each understand the puzzle of why regime change occurs in some contexts but not in others. As part of the review of each approach you should be critical and highlight the central weaknesses and limitations of the approach you are discussing. You could also perhaps consider whether the two approaches can be reconciled. Some reference should be made to real-life cases, but it is not the aim of the assignment to discuss any case or cases in any great depth.
As part of this assignment you should also put forward an analysis of which approach you think is most convincing in terms of explaining regime change. The essay should consist of an introduction, a main body (consisting of several paragraphs) and a conclusion. Remember to draw on the appropriate scholarly literature for each approach, making full use of the writings and ideas of key scholars. To this end, the reading lists for weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5 are crucial for this assignment.
The point of this review is to ensure that you have the theoretical grounding to explore the practical issues in the study of regime change that will form part of the essay questions for the second assignment.
Main class book: Harper, C. W., Bernhard, P., Intermingle, R. F. and Wellie, C. (2009) Democratization. New York: Oxford University Press.

 

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