Comparative Political Systems and the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Comparing Country Profiles
Throughout our course, assigned readings addressed questions of how states responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and what the pandemic means for the future of states. One question emerges: why did states respond to the pandemic differently? Are there patterns and factors that can explain how states responded?
In this final project, you will select two states and compare their responses to the pandemic with the objective of analyzing how political systems influenced the nature or responses. Your findings will be supported by 6 peer-reviewed articles and 6 reports or publications from reputable organizations or research institutes.***
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Pick your states for comparison.
You can pick any two states. You might consider picking one democracy and one non-democracy to make it interesting. You can use Freedom House or the Fragile States Index Country Dashboard to explore options. The open-access book Coronavirus Politics: The Comparative Politics and Policy of COVID-19 (2021) will also help the entire assignment.
Step 2: Create profiles on each state. Use the “Country Profile” table below to compile information on each case (paste the chart into your document; you will need to do this twice, once for each state). This portion of the project will require discovery of peer-reviewed articles and publications from reputable organizations and research institutes. You will add up to three additional indicators or categories to the table as you see fit. Consider areas like economy, or the indicators you identified in your Week 6 assignment.
Step 3: Findings and Analysis Essay. Provide a 6-page report to analyze the similarities and differences you identified. You can organize this essay using the chart or another method, but either way use prose (not bullet points) to present an introduction, full paragraphs, and a conclusion, followed by your reference list at the end. Your introduction should present your main argument: what factors explain why the two states responded differently to the pandemic? What factors explain any similarities? Did you identify any interesting trends? For example, can you extrapolate any cautious conclusions about how democracies or autocracies respond to this type of crisis?
In your final submission, open with the essay and then provide your Country Profiles as appendices at the end. (COUNTRY PROFILE TABLE ATTACHED)
***You may draw from class readings on the pandemic, but you must provide new research as well because the readings may not target the cases you’re investigating. Assigned readings that covered the pandemic are compiled in the attached document, along with a few extra sources that might be helpful.