Changing a Comparative Politics Course, Part 4

My previous post explained how students will complete the template that identifies possible causes of either increased democracy or increased authoritarianism in two nation-states from 2000 to 2020. The next step in this project is for students to work in teams to produce qualitative comparative analyses. Here are my instructions for this collaborative assignment:

Replace text in the Qualitative Comparative Analysis Template with five cases, four independent variables, and the indicators used to measure the independent variables. Enter values for the independent variables for each case. Replace “Dependent Variable” with either “More Democratic” or “More Authoritarian.” Enter the value of the dependent variable (either “Yes” or “No”) for each case.

Where indicated at the top of the template, write a statement using Boolean logic that explains the cause(s) of the dependent variable’s values across cases. This statement needs to be consistent with the information in the table.

Teams will present their findings at the end of the semester.

Here is the rubric I’ll be using to grade teams’ efforts:

The major potential stumbling block that I see for teams here is the need to identify a pattern between independent variables and the dependent variable, which is the main objective of the assignment. I fully expect the process to generate discussion, if not gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, among teammates.

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