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Framework Themes and Questions

The History-Social Science Framework organizes content around themes and questions. The overarching questions and units and unit-level questions have been separated by grade level and can be downloaded here

Appendix B describes the importance of this approach in the classroom and identifies seven themes that cut across time and space. Additionally, each grade-level chapter includes guiding questions that may be studied over a longer period of time, as well as questions that focus on the unit or lesson level. 

Click to view the framework questions by grade level:


Kindergarten: Learning and Working Now and Long Ago

Overarching Questions

  • How can we learn and work together?
  • What does it mean to be an American?
  • How are our lives different from those who lived in the past? How are they the same?
  • What is our neighborhood like?


Grade 1 — A Child’s Place in Time and Space

Overarching Questions

  • Who is responsible for enforcing the rules? What are the consequences if people choose to break these rules?
  • What is our community like?
  • How is our life different from those who lived in the past, and how is it the same?
  • How do many different people make one nation?

Grade 2 — People Who Make a Difference

Overarching Questions

  • How do families remember their past?
  • Why do people move?
  • How can we best describe California?
  • How does government work?
  • What makes someone heroic?


Grade 3 — Continuity and Change

Overarching Questions

  • Why did people settle in California? Who were the first people in my community?
  • Why did people move to my community?
  • How has my community changed over time?
  • What is the U.S. Constitution, and why is it important?
  • How can I help my community?
  • What issues are important to my community?


Grade 4 — California: A Changing State

Overarching Questions

  • Why did different groups of immigrants decide to move to California?
  • What were their experiences like when they settled in California?
  • How did the region become a state, and how did the state grow?
Units and Unit-Level Questions
  • Physical and Human Geographic Features That Define California
    • How do climate and geography vary throughout the state? How do these features affect how people live?
  • Pre-Columbian Settlements and People
    • What was life like for native Californians before other settlers arrived?
    • How did the diverse geography and climate affect native people?
  • European Exploration and Colonial History
    • Why did Europeans come to California?
    • How did European explorers change the region?
    • How did the region’s geography impact settlement?
  • Missions, Ranchos, and the Mexican War for Independence
    • Why did Spain establish missions? And how did they gain control?
    • How were people’s lives affected by missions?
    • How did the region change because of the mission system?
  • The Gold Rush and Statehood
    • How did the discovery of gold change California?
    • How did California become part of the United States?
    • Why did people come to California?
  • California as an Agricultural and Industrial Power
    • How did California grow after it became a state?
    • Why did people choose to move to California in the last half of the nineteenth century? And why did some
  • Californians oppose migrants?
    • What role did immigrants play in California’s economic growth and transportation expansion?
    • Why was water important to the growth of California?
  • California in a Time of Expansion
    • How did the state government form? Who held power in the state?
    • What was life like for California’s increasingly diverse population at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century?
  • California in the Postwar Era: Immigration, Technology, and Cities
    • How did California grow in the second half of the twentieth century compared to how it had grown for the previous 100 years?
    • Who came to California? And what was life like for newly arrived migrants as opposed to people who had lived in the state for many years?
  • Local, State, and Federal Governments
    • How is the state government organized?
    • What does the local government do?
    • What power does the State of California have?
    • How do ordinary Californians know about their rights and responsibilities in the state and their community?


Grade 5 — United States History and Geography: Making a New Nation

Overarching Questions

  • Why did different groups of people decide to settle in the territory that would become the United States?
  • How did the different regions of the area that would become the United States affect the economy, politics, and social organization of the nation?
  • What did it mean to become an independent United States? And what did it mean to be an American?
  • Why did the nation expand?

Units and Unit-Level Questions

  • The Land and People before Columbus
    • How did geography, climate, and proximity to water affect the lives of North American Indians?
    • How were different groups of North American Indians organized into systems of governments and confederacies?
    • How were family and community structures of North American Indians similar and different from one another?
  • Age of Exploration
    • Why did Europeans explore?
    • What exchanges were established as a result of the age of exploration?
    • How did European explorers and natives view each other?
  • Cooperation and Conflict in North America
    • How did European explorers and settlers interact with American Indians?
    • How did American Indians change as a result of the arrival and settlement of European colonists?
    • Why did American Indians fight with each other? Why did they fight with European settlers?
    • What role did trade play in both cooperation and conflict between and among European settlers?
  • Settling the Colonies
    • Who moved to and settled in North America? Why did they choose to live where they did?
    • Why did English settlers choose to live on the North Atlantic seaboard? What was daily life like for those who settled in the southern colonies? Those who settled in New England?
    • Why did Jamestown settlers have a high mortality rate? Why did so many settlers die, and how did they eventually reverse this trend?
    • How did people work in the colonies? Why did indentured servitude start, and how did it transition to slavery?
    • How did the Middle Colonies differ from New England and the southern colonies in terms of geography, economic activity, religion, social structure/ family life, and government?
  • The Road to War
    • Why did colonists start to rebel against Great Britain?
    • Who were the Patriots? What were their grievances?
    • What were the goals of the Declaration of Independence?
  • The American Revolution
    • How did the American Revolution start?
    • How was the war fought differently, depending on where the battles took place and who was fighting?
    • How were Natives, free blacks, slaves, and women important in the conduct of the war?
  • The Development and Significance of the U.S. Constitution
    • What were the Articles of Confederation? Why did they ultimately fail?
    • How did the Constitutional Convention attempt to balance the interests of all of the states?
    • What was the purpose of the preamble to the Constitution?
    • What was the Great Compromise? How did the Constitution get ratified with the inclusion of the Bill of Rights?
  • Life in the Young Republic
    • Who came to the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century? Where did they settle? How did they change the country?
    • How did westward migration change the country and the experience of being an American?
  • The New Nation’s Westward Expansion
    • What did the West mean for the nation’s politics, economy, social organization, and identity?
    • How did westward movement transform indigenous environments and communities?

Grade 6 — World History & Geography: Ancient Civilizations

Overarching Questions

  • How did the environment influence human migration, ancient ways of life, and the development of societies?
  • What were the early human ways of life (hunting and gathering, agriculture, civilizations, urban societies, states, and empires), and how did they change over time?
  • How did the major religious and philosophical systems (Judaism, Greek thought, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism) support individuals, rulers, and societies?
  • How did societies interact with each other? How did connections between societies increase over time?

Units and Unit-Level Questions

  • Early Humankind and the Development of Human Societies
    • How did the environment influence the migrations of early humans? How did early humans adapt to new environments and climate changes?
    • How did people live by the gathering and hunting way of life?
    • Why did some people develop agriculture and pastoral nomadism? What were the effects of these new ways of life?
  • The Early Civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush
    • How did civilizations—complex urban societies—develop in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush?
    • What environmental factors helped civilizations grow? What impact did civilizations have on the surrounding environment?
    • How did people's lives change as states and empires took over these areas (increase in social differences, rule by monarchs, laws)?
    • From 4000 BCE to 500 BCE, how did contact, trade, and other links grow among the urban societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Kush, India, and the eastern Mediterranean?
  • The Ancient Israelites (Hebrews)
    • What were the beliefs and religious practices of the ancient Israelites? How did the religious practices of Judaism change and develop over time?
    • How did the environment, the history of the Israelites, and their interactions with other societies shape their religion?
    • How did early Judaism support individuals, rulers, and societies?
  • Ancient Greece
    • How did the environment of the Greek peninsula and islands, the Anatolian coast, and the surrounding seas affect the development of Greek societies?
    • What were the differences in point of view and perspective between the Persians and the Greeks, and between Athenians and Spartans?
    • What were the political forms adopted by Greek urban societies? What were the achievements and limitations of Athenian democracy?
    • How did Greek thought (a cultural package of mythology, humanistic art, emphasis on reason and intellectual development, and historical, scientific, and literary forms) support individuals, states, and societies?
    • How did Greek trade, travel, and colonies, followed by the conquests of Alexander the Great and the spread of Hellenistic culture, affect increasing connections among regions in Afroeurasia?
  • The Early Civilizations of India
    • How did the environment influence the emergence and decline of the Indus civilization?
    • How did religions of Ancient India, including, but not limited to early Hinduism, support individuals, rulers, and societies?
    • How did the religion of Buddhism support individuals, rulers, and societies?
    • During the Indus civilization, the Vedic period, and the Maurya Empire, how did the connections between the Indian subcontinent and other regions of Afroeurasia increase?
  • The Early Civilizations of China
    • How did the environment influence the development of civilization in China?
    • How did the philosophical system of Confucianism support individuals, rulers, and societies?
    • What factors helped China unify into a single state under the Han Dynasty? What social customs and government policies made the centralized state so powerful?
    • How did the establishment of the Silk Road increase trade, the spread of Buddhism, and the connections between China and other regions of Afroeurasia?
  • The Development of Rome
    • What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Roman Republic? Why did the Roman Republic fall?
    • How did the Romans advance the concept of citizenship?
    • How did the environment influence the expansion of Rome and its integrated trade networks?
    • How did other societies (the Greeks, Hellenistic states, Han China, Parthian Persia) influence and affect the Romans?

Grade 7—World History & Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times

Overarching Questions

  • How did the distant regions of the world become more interconnected through medieval and early modern times?
  • What were the multiple ways people of different cultures interacted at sites of encounter? What were the effects of their interactions?
  • How did the environment and technological innovations affect the expansion of agriculture, cities, and human population? What impact did human expansion have on the environment?
  • Why did many states and empires gain more power over people and territories over the course of medieval and early modern times?
  • How did major religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism) and cultural systems (Confucianism, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment) develop and change over time? How did they spread to multiple cultures?

Units and Unit Level Questions

  • The World in 300 CE
    • How interconnected were the distant regions of the world in 300 CE?
  • Rome and Christendom, 300 CE-1200
    • How did the environment and technological innovations affect the growth and contraction of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and medieval Christendom? What impact did human expansion have on the environment?
    • How was Rome a site of encounter?
    • How did the Roman Empire gain and maintain power over people and territories?
    • How did the religion of Christianity develop and change over time? How did Christianity spread through the empire and to other cultures?
    • Did the Roman Empire fall?
    • How did the decentralized system of feudalism control people but weaken state power?
  • Southwestern Asia, 300–1200: Persia and the World of Islam
    • How did the environment affect the development and expansion of the Persian Empire, Muslim empires, and cities? What impact did this expansion have on the environment?
    • How did Islam develop and change over time? How did Islam spread to multiple cultures?
    • What were the multiple ways people of different cultures interacted at the sites of encounter, such as Baghdad?
    • Why was Norman Sicily a site of encounter?
    • What were the effects of the exchanges at Cairo?
    • How did the Muslim empires and institutions help different regions of Afroeurasia become more interconnected?
  • South Asia, 300–1200
    • Under the Gupta Empire, how did the environment, cultural and religious changes, and technological innovations affect the people of India?
    • How did Indian monks, nuns, merchants, travelers, and empires from what is now modern India and other parts of South Asia spread religious ideas and practices and cultural styles of art and architecture to Central and Southeast Asia?
    • How did the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism spread and change over time?
  • East Asia, 300–1300: China and Japan
    • How did the Tang and Song Dynasties gain and maintain power over people and territories?
    • How did the environmental conditions and technological innovations cause the medieval economic revolution? What were the effects of this revolution?
    • Why was Quanzhou such an important site of encounter?
    • How did Chinese culture, ideas and technologies, and Buddhism influence Korea and Japan?
    • What influence did samurai customs and values have on the government and society of medieval Japan?
  • The Americas, 300–1490
    • How did the environment affect the expansion of agriculture, population, cities, and empires in Mesoamerica and the Andean region?
    • Why did the Maya civilization, the Aztec Empire, and the Inca Empire gain power over people and territories?
    • How did Mesoamerican religion develop and change over time?
    • Under the Aztecs, why was Tenochtitlán a site of encounter?
  • West Africa, 900–1400
    • How did the environment affect the development and expansion of the Ghana and Mali Empires and the trade networks that connected them to the rest of Afroeurasia?
    • Why was Mali a site of encounter? What were the effects of the exchanges at Mali?
    • How did Arab/North African and West African perspectives differ on West African kingdoms?
  • Sites of Encounter in the Medieval World, 1150–1490
    • How did the Mongol Empire destroy states and increase the interconnection of Afroeurasia?
    • What were the effects of the exchanges at Majorca and Calicut?
    • How did increasing interconnection and trade, competition between states (and their people), and technological innovations lead to voyages of exploration?
  • Global Convergence, 1450–1750
    • What impact did human expansion in the voyages of exploration have on the environment, trade networks, and global interconnection?
    • What were the causes of colonialism? What were the effects of colonialism on the colonized people?
    • What were the effects of exchanges at Tenochtitlán/Mexico City in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries?
    • Was slavery always racial?
    • How did the gunpowder empires (Ming/Manchu China, Mughal India, Safavid Persia, Ottoman Empire, Russia, Spain, later France and England) extend their power over people and territories?


Grade 8— United States History & Geography: Growth and Conflict

Overarching Questions

  • What did freedom mean to the nation's founders, and how did it change over time?
  • How and why did the United States expand?
  • Who is considered an American?

Units and Unit Level Questions

  • The Development of American Constitutional Democracy
    • Why was there an American Revolution?
    • How did the American Revolution develop the concept of natural rights?
    • What were the legacies of the American Revolution?
  • Envisioning a New America
    • How much power should the federal government have, and what should the government do?
    • How did the government change during the Early Republic?
    • Was the Louisiana Purchase constitutional?
    • What was life like in the Early Republic?
  • The Divergent Paths of the American People: 1800–1850
    • How did individual regions of the United States become both more similar and more different?
    • What was family life like in each region?
    • How did work change between 1800 and 1850?
    • What was the impact of slavery on American politics, regional economies, family life, and culture?
    • What did the frontier mean to the nation in the first half of the nineteenth century?
  • The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the Civil War
    • Why was there a Civil War?  
    • How was the United States transformed during the Civil War?
    • How was the Civil War conducted militarily, politically, economically, and culturally?
    • How was slavery abolished through the Civil War?
  • The Rise of Industrial America: 1877–1914
    • How did America's economy, industries, and population grow after the Civil War?
    • Who came to the United States at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century? Why did they come? What was their experience like when they arrived?
    • How did the federal government affect the country's growth in the years following the Civil War?

Grade 10—World History, Culture, and Geography: The Modern World

Overarching Questions

  • How did ideas associated with the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, the Age of Reason, and a variety of democratic revolutions develop and impact civil society?
  • Why did imperial powers seek to expand their empires? How did colonies respond? What were the legacies of these conquests?
  • Why was the modern period defined by global conflict and cooperation, economic growth and collapse, and global independence and connection? 
Units and Unit Level Questions
  • The World in 1750
    • How were most societies organized in the 1700s?
    • Who held power in the 1700s? Why?
    • What was the divine right of kings?
  • 1750–1917: Revolutions Reshape the World
    • Democratic Revolutions
    • How were enlightened ideas a break from the past?
    • How did the "social contract" affect ordinary people?
    • What are individual or natural rights? Who received those rights in the eighteenth century?
    • Why did civic reformers argue for representative governments?
    • What were the consequences of trying to implement political revolutionary ideas in Europe, Latin America, and North America?
    • How do the French, American, and Haitian Revolutions compare to one another?
    • Industrial Revolutions
    • Should this era of industrialization be called an Industrial Revolution? Why or why not?
    • What were the results of the industrial revolutions? How was technology, and the environment transformed by industrialization?
    • How did industrial revolutions affect governments, countries, and national identity in similar and different ways?
  • The Rise of Imperialism and Colonialism
    • Why did industrialized nations embark on imperial ventures?
    • How did colonization work? n How was imperialism connected to race and religion?
    • How was imperialism similar and different between colonies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America?
    • What were the causes and effects of the Mexican Revolution?
    • How did native people respond to colonization?
  • Causes and Course of World War I
    • Why did the Great War become a World War?
    • How was World War I a total war?
    • What were the consequences of World War I for nations and people?
    • Why did the Russian Revolution develop, and how did it become popular?
  • Effects of World War I
    • How did World War I end? What were the consequences of the postwar agreement?
    • How did agreements dating from the World War I and postwar periods impact the map of the Middle East?
    • What were the effects of World War I on ordinary people?
    • Why does the term "lost generation" refer to those who lived through or came of age during these years?
    • How did the post-World War I world order contribute to the collapse of the worldwide economy?
  • Rise of Totalitarian Governments after World War I
    • Why did communism and fascism appeal to Europeans in the 1930s?
    • What were key ideas of communism? How were the ideas translated on the ground?
    • What was totalitarianism, and how was it implemented in similar and different ways in Japan, Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union?
    • How did Nazis come to power? Why did ordinary people support them?
  • Causes and Consequences of World War II
    • Why was the death toll so high during World War II?
    • What were the key goals of the Axis and Allied powers? How was the war mobilized on different fronts?
    • How did technology affect World War II?
    • How was World War II a total war? How did World War II's actors, goals, and strategies compare with those of World War I?
    • How was the Holocaust carried out?
  • International Developments in the Post–World War II World
    • How did the Cold War develop?
    • How was the Cold War waged all over the world?
    • How did former colonies respond to the Cold War and liberation?
    • How and why did the Cold War end?
  • Nation-Building in the Contemporary World
    • How have nations organized in the post–Cold War world?
    • How have nations struggled in similar and different ways to achieve economic, political, and social stability?
    • How have developing nations worked together to identify and attempt to solve challenges?
  • Economic Integration and Contemporary Revolutions in Information, Technology, and Communications
    • How has globalization affected people, nations, and capital?
    • How has the post–Cold War world and globalization facilitated extremist and terrorist organizations?

Grade 11—United States History and Geography: Continuity and Change in Modern United States History

Overarching Questions
  • How did the federal government grow between the late nineteenth and twenty-first centuries?
  • What does it mean to be an American in modern times?
  • How did the United States become a superpower?
  • How did the United States' population become more diverse over the twentieth century?
Units and Unit Level Questions
  • Connecting with Past Studies: The Nation's Beginnings
    • What are key tenets of American democracy?
    • How did the country change because of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the nineteenth century?
  • Industrialization, Urbanization, Immigration, and Progressive Reform
    • How did America's economy, industries, and population grow after the Civil War?
    • Who came to the United States at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century? Why did they come? What was their experience like when they arrived?
    • How did the federal government impact the country's growth in the years following the Civil War?
    • Why did women want the right to vote, and how did they convince men to grant it to them?
  • The Rise of the United States as a World Power
    • How did America's role in the world change between the 1870s and 1910s?
    • Did the United States become an imperial power? Why or why not?
    • How did America change because of World War I?
  • The 1920s
    • Why were the 1920s filled with political, social, and economic extremes?
    • How did culture change in the 1920s?
    • Were the 1920s a "return to normalcy?" Why or why not?
  • The Great Depression and the New Deal
    • Why was there a Great Depression?
    • How did the New Deal attempt to remedy problems from the Great Depression?
    • How did ordinary people respond to the Great Depression?
  • America's Participation in World War II
    • Why did Americans not want to join World War II before the bombing at Pearl Harbor?
    • How did the American government change because of World War II?
    • How was the war mobilized and fought differently in the Atlantic versus the Pacific?
    • How did America win the war in the Pacific?
    • How did World War II serve to advance movements for equality at home and abroad?
  • Cold War Struggles Abroad
    • What was Containment? How was it employed?
    • How did American foreign policy shift after World War II?
    • Why was the period between 1946 and 1990 known as the Cold War?
    • How did anti-communism drive foreign policy?
  • Cold War Struggles at Home
    • How was the Cold War fought domestically?
    • How did the government work to combat the perceived threat of communism domestically?
    • How were American politics shaped by the Cold War?
    • How did the Cold War affect ordinary Americans?
  • Movements for Equality
    • Why was there a Civil Rights Movement?
    • What does "equal rights" mean?
    • What were the goals and strategies of the Civil Rights Movement?
    • How did various movements for equality build upon one another?
    • Did the Civil Rights Movement succeed?
    • How was the government involved in the Civil Rights Movement?
    • How was the war in Vietnam similar to and different from other Cold War struggles?
    • How did the war in Vietnam affect movements for equality at home?
  • Contemporary American Society
    • How has the role of the federal government (and especially the presidency) changed from the 1970s through more recent times?
    • How did the Cold War end, and what foreign policy developments resulted?
    • What does globalization mean, and how has it affected the United States?
    • Why is the United States more diverse now than it was in the middle of the twentieth century?
    • In what ways have issues such as education; civil rights for people of color, immigrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans, and disabled Americans; economic policy; recognition of economic, social and cultural rights; the environment; and the status of women remained unchanged over time? In what ways have they changed?

Grade 12—Principles of Economics

Overarching Questions

  • How is economics about scarcity, investment, growth, employment, competition, protection, entrepreneurship, and markets?
  • What is capitalism? What are its benefits and problems?
  • What does it mean to be financially literate?
  • How do worldwide markets affect me?

Units and Unit Level Question

  • Fundamental Economic Concepts and Reasoning
    • How are resources allocated?
    • What is a market economy?
  • The American Market Economy
    • What are key components of the American economic system?
    • How are prices determined? Who determines prices?
    • How do banks and markets function?
  • Government Influence upon the American Economy
    • How is the American government involved in the economy?
    • How has the American government been involved in the economy in the past?
    • How does the federal budget affect ordinary people?
    • What does it mean to pay taxes? n What does it mean to run a deficit?
    • Why is there a Federal Reserve Bank? How does it function?
  • Labor Markets
    • What does it mean to work?
    • How does one compete in the labor market?
    • How are wages determined?
    • How and why do workers organize?
  • Aggregate Economic Behavior
    • What is macroeconomics and what does it reveal about the economy?
    • How do data help to tell the story of the economy?
    • How does a cyclical economy function?
  • The Global Economy
    • What is globalization?
    • How does globalization affect international and national economies and individuals?
    • Why are there critics of globalization?

Grade 12—Principles of American Democracy

Overarching Questions

  • What are the key elements of representative democracy, and how did they develop over time?
  • What are the trade-offs between majority rule and the protection of individual rights?
  • How much power should government have over its citizens?
  • What rights and responsibilities does a citizen have in a democracy? n How do people get elected?
  • Why does the government work sometimes and not others?
  • What problems are posed by representative government, and how can they be addressed?

Units and Unit Level Questions

  • Fundamental Principles of American Democracy
    • Why do we need a government?
    • How much power should government have over its citizens?
    • What do the terms liberty and equality mean, and how do they relate to each other?
    • What are the dangers of a democratic system?
    • What are the trade-offs between majority rule and individual rights?
  • Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens in a Democracy
    • What rights and responsibilities does a citizen have in a democracy?
    • What does it mean to be a citizen?
    • How can citizens improve a democracy?
  • Fundamental Principles of Civil Society
    • What is a civil society, and why do we want to have one?
    • What are the limits of individual liberty?
    • What are the dangers of majority rule?
    • What is the role of religion in a democracy?
    • How do government actions impact civil society?
  • The Three Branches of Government as Established by the U.S. Constitution
    • Why does the Constitution both grant power and take it away?
    • What is the most powerful branch of government?
    • Why does it take so long for government to act?
  • Interpreting the Constitution: The Work of the U.S. Supreme Court
    • What is judicial review, and how does it work?
    • What makes a law or an action unconstitutional, and does that determination ever change?
  • The Electoral Process
    • How do you get elected?
    • Who gets elected, and who does not?
    • What impact do polls, political parties, and PACs have upon elections?
    • How can I get involved in a campaign?
    • Why should I vote?
  • Federalism: Different Levels of Government
    • Why are powers divided among different levels of government?
    • What level of government is the most important to me—local, state, tribal, or federal?
    • What level of government is the most powerful—local, state, tribal, or federal?
  • The Fourth Estate: The Role of the Media in American Public Life
    • To what extent are the press and the media fulfilling a watchdog role?
    • Do media outlets provide enough relevant information about government and politics to allow citizens to vote and participate in a well-informed way?
    • How has the Internet revolution impacted journalism, and what are its effects on the coverage of public affairs and current issues?
  • Comparative Governments and the Challenges of Democracy
    • Do citizens have rights that the state must respect; if so, what are they?
    • What is the role of civil dissent and when is it necessary?
    • Why have some revolutions been followed by purges of dissidents, mass arrests of political opponents, murder of "class enemies," suppression of free speech, abolition of private property, and attacks on religious groups?
    • Why do authoritarian governments spy on their citizens and prevent them from emigrating? Why do they jail or harass critics of their government? Why is only one party allowed in an authoritarian state? Why do ordinary people risk their lives to flee or transform authoritarian states?
    • How do individual countries combat terrorist organizations that do not recognize international norms or boundaries? How can individual citizens or nongovernmental organizations improve civil society? How can multinational alliances work together to combat climate change?