Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Reconsidering basics

In the light of recent Islamist terrorism (2014), analyst Fareed Zakaria wrote, in the The Washington Post, an op-ed column wondering about his perceptions of terrorism in 2001.

Below is a key paragraph. Use that or the whole essay and determine whether Zakaria is using terminology the same way your textbook uses it. Terms like country, state, civil society, nation, national identities, and others.

Does his analysis of his thinking make sense to you? Why? If not, what's missing or inaccurate?

Why they still hate us, 13 years later
What did I miss in that essay 13 years ago? The fragility of these countries. I didn’t recognize that if the dictatorships faltered, the state could collapse, and that beneath the state there was no civil society — nor, in fact, a real nation. Once chaos reigned across the Middle East, people reached not for their national identities — Iraqi, Syrian — but for much older ones: Shiite, Sunni, Kurd and Arab.

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

What You Need to Know SIXTH edition is NOW AVAILABLE.
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Just The Facts! is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.

What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, the original version and v2.0 are available to help curriculum planning.

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