US Democracy – Operationalization

What is democracy? What does it mean to call the US a democracy? In what ways is theUS democratic and in what ways do we potentially fall short of this democratic ideal?For this written assignment, you will offer and defend the most appropriate (in your mind)operationalization of democracy. This assignment includes thinking carefully about the mostbasic elements of democracy, and ensuring that our operationalization includes only thosecritical elements while excluding the unncessary elements. You can rely on academic articlesand philosophical traditions to support your understanding of democracy. The assignmentalso requires you to apply your operationalization of democracy to the US throughout his-tory; during what periods does the US qualify as a democracy, and why? You should alsocompare your operationalization to other common measures that are often used by politicalscientists.
The written assignment has three major components that must be included. The first com-ponent is an in-depth description of your operationalization of democracy. The secondcomponent is the application of your operationalization to the US across time. The finalcomponent is a comparison of your operationalization of democracy to other operationaliza-tions.
First,suggest an appropriate and defensible operationalization of democracy. This sectionshould include the characteristics that you think define democracy, and why thesecharacteristics should be included in your operationalization. On this point, be sure todraw upon a philosophical foundation or political science research on the meaning ofdemocracy. Be sure to provide a justification for why your measure will be reliable andvalid. What is the range of values for this variable and what is its level of measurement?Second,based on your operationalization, discuss what numeric values you would give tothe US throughout its history. Describe what periods or events would result in a changeto the values of democracy. What part(s) of your operationalization of democracy iscausing this change and why? What value would you provide for US democracy now?Third,compare your operationalization to another way that political scientists have mea-sured democracy. What characteristics are included in the other operationalization? How does the US fare throughout history with respect to that measure? How is your measure different from that one, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of thetwo?
Mechanics•This paper should be 3-5 pages long (double-spaced). Use an appropriate font and1-inch margins. Include page numbers on each page of text.•You should incorporate between 4-6 academic (peer-reviewed) journal articles and/orbooks. It is key that you select academic (peer-reviewed) sources rather than randominternet websites.•You must cite all of the sources using proper APSA (American Political Science Asso-ciation) citation guidelines. This includes parenthetical citations in the paper as wellas a References page. The Canvas website has links to helpful APSA style guidelinesas well as many useful database search tools for preparing your literature review.•All ideas, intuitions, arguments, etc, that are not your ownhaveto be cited. Be sureto differentiate your argument from those of the authors. Use direct quotes (i.e., thosein quote marks) sparingly, and only when the authors say something in a notable man-ner. Otherwise, paraphrase the author’s argument and provide a correct citation.Keep in mind that the paper will go through a plagiarism check on Canvas, so itwill be immediately obvious to me whether you used someone else’s—either anotherstudent or an internet source—ideas and passed those off as your own.•The paper must be well-organized, clearly written and easy to understand, and containno spelling or grammatical errors. If you struggle with writing, then I would suggestyou set up a virtual appointment with the Writing Center as well as meet with yourteaching assistant.•The paper must be submitted in Canvas by midnight on Sunday, October 10.