Printer Frendly Version

Accountability and Transparency: Study Questions

Suggested Review Questions and Activities

Teachers: The following are questions and activities that can be given to your students after they read the materials in each section. The questions are meant to be asked as a review exercise, although some encourage critical thinking as well. The activities can be presented as classroom exercises or as individual homework assignments. Unlike the questions, they tend to require additional research. Some call for students to create mock trials or debates that would engage the entire class. Both the questions and the activities are formatted so that they might be used directly by students, although you may rewrite them as you feel necessary.

Essential Principles

Questions

Why are anticorruption laws necessary? Could democracy survive today without anticorruption laws?

Activity

Accountability and transparency involve nearly all aspects of democratic governance. List the characteristics of accountability and transparency mentioned in the general section and in the country studies. Discuss the features that are essential and those that are less important for the well-being of democracy. Which do you believe the United States could do without?

Botswana

Question

What makes Botswana a democracy? What makes it different from dictatorial countries ruled by a single party?

Activity

Why is Botswana considered the least corrupt country in Africa by Transparency International and ranked Free by Freedom House? Study reports on Botswana from both organizations to reach a conclusion, and defend your opinion using the appropriate material. Are there factors you would consider that are perhaps not included in the Transparency International and Freedom House reports?

Philippines

Question

What role has corruption played in the Philippines since independence? How did it affect the adoption of dictatorship and democracy?

Activity

Examine the most recent country reports and scores for the Philippines by Freedom House. Why did Freedom House lower the Philippines' ranking in its Freedom in the World 2008 survey? What happened the year after that? Did the score change again? Discuss the concrete issues that influenced Freedom House's ranking of the Philippines.

Kazakhstan

Question

For the entire post-Soviet period, Kazakhstan has been dominated by one man, Nursultan Nazarbayev. How has Nazarbayev consolidated his power? What instruments of power has he used?

Activity

Compare the country studies for the Philippines and Kazakhstan by Freedom House and Transparency International. How similar are the two countries in the area of corruption? What role does corruption play in the abuse of power in each country?