Experiences of countries-described in the text and lectures

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Reference no: EM13217472

How to begin: Read the three case studies. Each case study is about a particular country and also relates to some of the concepts that are covered in SOC 300. Each case is based on real-world events in an actual country, with some simplification, but does not identify the country by name. 

Task: Select one of the case studies. Write an essay of 500-800 words, in your own words, that accomplishes the following: 

Explain how to concepts that have been covered in this course relate to this case. Try to identify as many as you can. 

Compare and contrast the case study with the experiences of countries that have faced the same or similar issues, as described in the text and lectures. In what ways is the case similar? In what ways it is different? 

Format: This is not a research paper. Write it as if it were an essay on an exam. The essay must be in your own words. Base your 
answer on information from the lectures and texts. However, if you feel that you absolutely must quote something external to the texts and lectures, then you must use in-text citations in APA format, and provide a separate reference page. The reference page will not count towards the expected word count. Please note that 500-800 words is about 1.5 - 2.5 pages of double-spaced text.

Under British colonial rule, Country B transitioned from an economy based on subsistence farming to an economy based on large-scale exports of agricultural commodities. After throwing out the British in the 1940's, Country B attempted to establish a democracy, but conflict between ethnic and political groups severely hampered the central government. The political disorder was so overwhelming in the late 1950's that the Prime Minister asked the military to temporarily take control to establish law and order. That was merely a temporary measure, but within five years, the military had taken over permanently. Ever since, the country has been ruled by a military junta. The economic outlook has worsened considerably since the junta seized control. The worsening of the economy appears to be due to general incompetence of the government, and to ham-handed attempts to establish a socialist system.

About 70% of the population belong to "Ethnic Group B". The remaining 30% is comprised of minority ethnic groups. There are 7 major ethnic minority groups, each of which has retained its own language, customs and geographical location. Country B is comprised of 14 provinces: seven are primarily populated by the "Ethnic Group B" majority; the remaining seven are primarily populated by one of the minority ethnic groups.

The junta has a long history of brutally suppressing all opposition. Huge pro-democracy protests in 2007 were violently broken up by the military. Pro-democracy activists have been jailed and beaten. An unspecified number of pro-democracy protesters have been killed. 

Subsequently, the junta announced completion of a new constitution, specifying a two-house parliamentary system. It also specifies that at least 25% of the seats must be military appointees. Parliamentary elections for the remainder of the seats are planned for 2010.

In the meanwhile, the army has stepped up attacks on ethnic minorities. For instance, over three dozen villages in the "Ethnic Group S" region have been attacked and forcibly displaced. Other minority groups have also been attacked. Many refugees are fleeing from Country B into neighboring countries, which has severely strained relations between the military government and neighboring governments.

These attacks seem to be part of a plan to intimidate residents of the minority provinces, or to deliberately destabilize them in advance of the election. Some minority groups have flatly rejected the junta's constitution. One commentator speculates that the junta is trying to force ethnic minority groups to accept their constitution. He calls for "genuine dialog" between the ruling junta and ethnic and political groups. Unfortunately, there seems to be little hope that any genuine dialog will take place. Yet, the commentator rejects the notion that these minority groups are merely victims of repression. He says that they are "active change agents". Obviously, there is great uncertainty about what will happen in 2010.

Reference no: EM13217472

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