Debating Causes of Historical Events

Jill Goldenziel's students in Gov 20 debate which factors - structuralist, leadership, international pressure, etc. - contribute most to given events. The students must complete the assigned readings before class. Then the instructor breaks them into groups and assigns them a perspective from which to argue. The purpose of this activity is to familiarize students with the types of factors and perspectives that are used to analyze comparative politics. In addition, the debate deepens students' understanding of a particular event and helps prepare them for the exam, on which they are likely to encounter similar types of questions.