How Donald Trump is an Authoritarian

Please write a short research paper on an authoritarian of your choice (Donald Trump). Your purpose is to go beyond the course content in order to analyze an authoritarians rule or some specific aspect of their leadership or route to power. Ideally, you will use some of perspectives and approaches provided in the course to evaluate and classify your authoritarian. Be sure to note their distinctive characteristics and/or deeds. You might explore one or more of the following topics: how and why they appealed to their followers; how they legitimized their rule; how they gained power; how they co-opted or sidelined existing elites; which institutions they used as the foundation of their power; how they consolidated their rule, how they established a cult of personality; how they used coercion and/or manufactured consent; how they marginalized or scapegoated particular populations; how they fell from power; or any other aspect of their rule.

Please be sure to conduct research using sources from outside the class. It is highly recommended that you use the course readings as some of your sources for the paper, but please also use at least four external sources.  For historical figures, it should be possible to use scholarly, peer-edited sources, such as online articles that you find through the library. For more contemporary figures, you may need to draw more on journalistic accounts, but if you do so, please be sure to use well-regarded and reputable news sources that are known for producing original content, using reputable sources, and checking facts. Avoid using any sources that do not clearly identify the author.  Please do not use Wikipedia,, or similar websites as sources.

Your paper will be evaluated on its organization, content, and writing. You must show evidence of having conducted independent research using multiple sources from outside the class. It is also strongly recommended that you apply class concepts and perspectives to your study and classification of your authoritarian. You are welcome to consider varying analyses of your chosen authoritarian and comment on their validity. Stronger papers will have some kind of underlying argument or thesis, rather than just reading like a report.  As a final point, please be sure to carefully proof-read and edit your work before submission.

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