Addressing Global Warming President Hillary Clinton
The world is full of unsolved international challenges that need to be addressed. Many people will look to the world’s leaders for solutions to these problems, but these leaders normally don’t come up with plans of action on their own. Instead, they rely on the advice of experts, academics, bureaucrats, and other politicians. Imagine you are one of these advisers, and you have the opportunity to speak with one of the 2016 candidates for the US presidency (or any other current world leader, if you prefer). What problem would you bring to this leader, and how would you suggest they solve it? Think hard about this hypothetical scenario, since that is how you will be writing this essay! (Addressing Global Warming President Hillary Clinton)
Famine, conflict, environmental issues, strained diplomatic relations, and many other types of challenges face states across the globe. Your job is to identify one specific challenge of international significance, describe it, explain why this issue has not yet been solved, and then present your plan to fix the situation to a world leader of your choice. You should be specific and give concrete recommendations for actions that leader could feasibly undertake, all while grounding your recommendations in one of the academic theories we’ve learned.
When picking a topic, I highly recommend you browse multiple news sources until you find something that sticks out to you. Don’t focus on one particular news story about a specific event; instead, focus on larger trends. For example, you might have seen a news story about North Korea’s recent nuclear test and missile launch. Instead of writing about that particular event, you could instead focus on North Korea’s overall pattern of using such provocations to get what it wants from other states. You could then advise Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping to take action on the issue by convincing North Korea to reconsider its pursuit of more nuclear weaponry.
I want to remind you that your paper should focus on a problem of INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, not domestic politics. That doesn’t mean just some event that is happening in a country other than the USA, either. In other words, you can’t write a paper about what Bernie Sanders should do to fix the USA’s healthcare system or what Angela Merkel should do to encourage more investment in Germany’s nuclear industry. You could, however, discuss an issue of global health or encouraging global investment in nuclear power. Further, it’s fine to recommend the leader take unilateral action, if you think that recommendation is reasonable and feasible, but the issue itself must be of international significance.
My only other limitation for this essay topic is that you CAN’T write about ISIS. If I allowed that topic, I’d end up reading 100 essays about them, which would probably drive me crazy enough to go join those guys. If you’re confused or need help picking a topic, email me or come to my office hours! It will only take a few minutes to email me your topic if you’d like to check that it’s appropriate, so I highly recommend you do this if you have any doubts about the assignment.
Finally, I understand if you’re hesitant to give your personal recommendations for solving these complicated world issues. Many of the world’s best minds are working on these situations, and we still haven’t solved them! Yet, this exercise isn’t about actually solving the problem. Instead, I want to see how much effort and thought you put into identifying an issue and coming up with possible solutions to that problem. In that sense, you shouldn’t be concerned with giving a “right” answer, just the best answer you can think of using the knowledge you’ve gained throughout this semester. Further, how you relate these problems to the topics we’ve discussed throughout the semester will tell me how well you have grasped the course material.
You will be required to choose one international challenge and cover the following topics within a 5-7 page essay. I recommend taking around 2 pages to cover each topic. Be sure to answer each of the following questions thoroughly:
(1) Describe the problem you have chosen. How did it start? Who are the major actors involved in the situation? What key events have shaped this problem so far?
(2) Critique the steps taken by various governments so far to solve this challenge. Who has attempted to solve this problem (or at least proposed solutions to this problem), and what have they attempted (or proposed) to do? What theories of international relations (realism, liberalism, constructivism, Marxism) might explain these approaches? What went wrong in these attempts to solve the problem (or why have the proposed solutions not yet been implemented)?
(3) Present your own, original argument for solving this problem. You can certainly support this argument with news articles, opinion pieces, or academic articles, but ultimately, the recommendations you give should be of your own design. Give concrete, specific steps for solving this problem, and try to explain which academic theory of international relations supports your plan. You can give multiple plans of actions based on multiple theories, if you like!
This assignment is worth 100 points in the course. You will be graded based on:
(1) How thorough you were in completing the above three tasks. (25 points per task, for a total of 75/100 points)
(2) Grammar and clarity of writing. You do not need to be 100% error free, but if your writing style makes your essay hard to read, you can be penalized up to 25 points. (25/100 points)
Style and Submission Guidelines
I prefer to grade essays anonymously, so please do not include your name in the file name, title, or text of the file you submit. Instead, include your identification number in the header or cover page of your essay.
This essay should be typed in Calibri or Times New Roman 12pt font with normal margins and double-spaced lines. As mentioned above, it should be 5-7 full pages long. You can exceed that count by a bit if needed, but try to be concise.
Try to write the essay in an academic, well-reasoned style. Consider various points of view, and try to give a comprehensive account of the problem you want to solve. Despite this being an academic paper, feel free to use the first-person (e.g., “I recommend we do this.”) whenever you’re giving your own opinion.
The file you submit to Blackboard must be in .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, or .html format. That means if you’re using an Apple computer and running the Pages software, you need to take care to save as one of these formats instead of the default .pages format.
Your completed essay must be uploaded to Blackboard by April 25th at 11:59pm. Late submissions will be penalized 10% per day after the deadline.
Guidelines for Citing Sources
Please follow standard academic guidelines for citing sources. That means that if the information you’ve written is not general knowledge or your own opinion, you should be citing it. Dates, statistics, courses of events, and quotes are the most commonly cited materials for this type of essay. There is not a required number of sources, although I expect you will need anywhere from 6-15 sources to write a well-thought-out and complete essay.
I don’t care what citation style you use (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.), so long as you are consistent with your style and formatting. Please consult Purdue’s OWL Citation Guide (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/) or come by my office hours if you need help with anything regarding citations.
Brief Example of What I Expect
The following is a very brief outline of what your paper might look like. Since you can’t write about ISIS, I will.
Congratulations on your completely unbelievable and potentially catastrophic ascent to the position of most powerful man in the world! Now that you’re here, you should be aware of the current situation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), one of the most pressing and complicated challenges to world security today.
According to a New York Times report (2014), ISIS has its origins in the de-Baathification process that immediately followed the US invasion of Iraq … [Insert two pages of ISIS history here]
So far, numerous countries have attempted to contain ISIS’ influence both in the Middle East and in the hearts of its supporters around the globe. Members of the European Union have been unable to agree on a unified response to ISIS, with member states’ responses ranging from active intervention in Iraq and Syria to simple increases in passport controls at their borders (“Hypothetical BBC Article,” 2015). Meanwhile, Russia has intervened heavily in support of Assad, while the USA has previously attempted to find and support moderate rebels and the Iraqi army in their fight against the group… [add two more pages about these actions and the theories underlying these responses here]
President Trump, I suggest you take a clear and firm stance on ISIS. Liberalism suggests the clearest way to encourage peaceful interaction is through peaceful economic exchange and membership in international institutions (Arreguin-Toft and Mingst, 2012). While it was unlikely that ISIS would ever give up its extremist religious and geopolitical conviction when it first formed, I have the utmost confidence in your ability to bring them to reason with your world-famous negotiating skills. Perhaps you can even convince them to build a golf course where the temples of Palmyra once stood. [add two more pages describing what Donald could do unilaterally, what he could do through multilateral action coordinated with Russia and Iran, and what liberal theory might expect if he is successful in bring ISIS into the community of nations]
Obviously the above is a bit of a joke, but it should give you some idea of how to structure your paper.
Sources That Might Help You Pick a Topic
Title; Addressing Global Warming President Hillary Clinton
Length: 6 pages (1650 words)