Thousands of Kids Are Obsessed Today With What Six Countries?

by Roger Alford

Like thousands of other high school kids, today is AP Comparative Government exam day in the Alford household. According to the AP College Board, “The course aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, to explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes.” But in order to move the discussion from the abstract to the concrete, AP Comp. Gov. students are required to study six–and only six–representative countries. Can you guess the six countries chosen as suitable for comparison? And could you answer the short- or long-essay questions these high school whiz kids are required to answer? Details after the jump:

The six countries that are tested on the AP Comparative Government exam are: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. Why those six instead of other worthy candidates? Who knows, but I’m glad my son has facility with the details of at least a handful of major countries.

As for the questions, here’s a sample of the short-answer questions asked in 2011:

1. Describe two distinct sources of political legitimacy established by the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Discuss one example of how having both those sources of political legitimacy simultaneously has led to tensions in Iran in the last fifteen years.

2. Describe a major function of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Explain one reason for the establishment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Explain how membership in the European Union affects the judicial system in Great Britain.

3. Globalization has both political and economic consequences. Define economic globalization. Describe one policy response of the Mexican government to economic globalization. Describe one organized response of Mexican citizens to economic globalization.

Here’s a sample of the long-essay questions asked in 2011:

1. Political scientists often examine political rights and civil liberties to assess regime type.

(a) Define civil liberties. Explain the difference between political rights and civil liberties.

(b) Describe one example of how political rights have declined in Russia between 1995 and 2010. Describe one example of how civil liberties have declined in Russia between 1995 and 2010.

(c) Describe one example of how political rights have increased in Mexico between 1995 and 2010. Describe one example of how civil liberties have increased in Mexico between 1995 and 2010.

(d) Using the descriptions you provided in parts (b) and (c), assess the regime type in Mexico in 2010 and the regime type in Russia in 2010.

http://opiniojuris.org/2012/05/15/thousands-of-kids-are-obsessed-today-with-what-six-countries/

One Response

  1. Fascinating…

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I would have been quite unable to answer pretty much any of these questions when I was in High School. Then again, we didn’t have a class called “Comparative Government”, because we wasted all our time learning about (quantum) physics and ancient Greek. (And everything inbetween.) That said, I can’t quite make up my mind whether this stuff belongs on a HS curriculum.

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