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CUA Politics 212: International Relations
Week 6 – Your Own Papers

Welcome to the part of the course where you choose your own area of inquiry. The details of the paper requirements are on our facebook group page, under Files > Paper Instructions.  Notice that instead of an in-class presentation, you’ll post a short video on our facebook page.  Choose a topic relevant to our course – but that is a very wide umbrella of topics.

You and I should have already discussed your paper topic – in person, by email, fb msg, etc.  If we have not, please email me at Quirk@cua asap.

Three deliverables:

1 – by this Thursday, August 3, you should post here approx 100 words on your paper topic.

2 – by next Wednesday, August 9, you should email your paper to me,

3 – by next Thursday, August 10, you should post a one- to two-minute video (and definitely not more than three minutes) to our facebook group – what your paper question was, and what you learned, and why it was interesting, etc.  Make us smart.

Ok, everyone – this is the part that you do yourself –  pursue something you’re curious about, really dig into it, and deliver a showcase paper, something you can use as a short writing sample for future jobs, internships, etc.


21 Replies to “212-week6”

  1. What’s next for Net Neutrality? How blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization will impact civil rights and American economics.
    On February 26, 2015 the FCC ruled in favor of protecting net neutrality under the Title II. Title II rules prohibit cable companies from blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. On April 26, 2017, newly-appointed FCC commissioner Ajit Varadaraj Pai announced his proposal to end the utility-style regulatory approach which would decrease legal regulations on Internet Service Providers. Currently, the FCC is under a comment period on its proposals.
    Cable companies are working to lobby the FCC and congress to overturn Title II net neutrality protections. Many different advocacy groups have gotten together to form grass-roots efforts lobbying to protect consumers’ choices and rights. If these proposals are made into federal regulations, then ISP’s will have control over internet access, speed, and data.

  2. In my paper I am going to analyze the history of the relationship between China and North Korea and how the current nuclear threat of North Korea affects it. China has been investing time and resources into North Korea since the Korean War. Ever since then China has protected North Korea from other countries and potential sanctions against them, going as far to assist in hiding human rights violations. However, now that North Korea is becoming a nuclear threat to the world, China is being forced to redefine the parameters of their relationship due to pressure from other countries, like the United States, and the personal threat they face.

  3. The historical background of the relationships between Islam and Judaism starts with the emergence of Islam in 500 AD. The rapid expansion of the Caliphate affected Israel and Judaea, capturing the Jewish capital of Jerusalem. However, the analysis shows that during the Caliphate period and the latter centuries, Jews were rarely oppressed by the Islamic authority. Islamic rulers only imposed additional taxes on Jewish community: Islamic term ‘Dhimmi’, which means ‘protected person’ prohibited any oppression of the representatives of Abrahamic religions. Consequently, the analysis shows that Jews did not experience any violent actions or significant oppression from Islamic authorities. However, the relationships between Islam and Judaism significantly worsened after the creation of Israel due to the debates around the status of Jerusalem: a holy city for both Jews and Muslims.

  4. Earlier this year, WannaCry and other ransomware attacks brought companies to their knees. It encrypted massive amounts of data and server backups and for the next few weeks, this was all anyone could talk about. This isn’t the first attack that has hit and it won’t be the last attack this year. In my paper, I will analyze the true damage of this attack and other attacks like it to answer the question: “What could ransom ware attacks like WannaCry actually do at their worst and how can we prevent against a global catastrophy?”.

  5. Democratic regions are speculated to be secure, peaceful institutions, however in transitioning democracies, like Central America, from authoritarian military regimes, there is an increase in violence, economic stress, social conflict, and an overall issue in cohesiveness. A crucial component that has come up in research is whether or not once Central American countries were deemed democratized if the authoritarian/military regimes were truly removed from the new “democracy.” Alejandro Toledo said in an interview, “democracy without strong democratic institutions is very fragile.” If the old regimes somehow survived during the building of the new regimes, are the institutions strong and secure, which seems to be a fundamental element of a prospering democracy. Has the Central American democratization generated enhanced violence as well as other tensions?

  6. Sanctions have been an important tool in the diplomatic toolbox of international diplomacy for the United States and other countries for decades. It’s main use has been to try to pressure other nations into making political changes, as opposed to forcing change through war. In my paper I will be focusing on the effect of sanctions in the Middle East. I will assess how effective they were in accomplishing their goals, how the populace was affected by the sanctions, and how that affected subsequent actions with U.S or other coalition troops. I will also assess if the sanctions were beneficial, or did more harm then good.

  7. My paper is going to cover whether or not the imposition of democracy in failed middle eastern states is a plausible goal for western nations. Nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan house many different religious and tribal groups which have existed for longer than the nations themselves have existed, and their differing ideological backgrounds can at times rival one another. This has caused the establishment of a strong centralized democratic government in either nation to be a very difficult task, and the power vacuum has allowed militant groups like Isis to assume control over large portions of the nations. While a democratic government would of course be ideal, I do not know that it is possible, or even necessarily desired in the nations in question.

  8. Journalism is an influential platform that has erupted exponentially with the impact of social media and various other technological advances. It is playing an increasingly critical role in both disrupting and sustaining the democracies of the Americas. Communication that reaches individual citizens disheartened by out of touch politicians can change the course of democracy both for good and for bad. This struggle is reaching a critical point in Venezuela today as it once was in 20th century Panama.
    During the dictatorships of Omar Torrijos and Manuel Noriega in Panama, I. Roberto Eisenmann, Jr., a businessman turned journalist, demonstrated the bridge that journalism can serve in re-establishing a democratic government that citizens can trust. In an interview with Eisenmann, the founder of La Prensa, I gained insight into just how he allowed people to gain access to news in the face of an unjust government, and his journey to founding the nation’s first “free newspaper”. As Paddy Ashdown states in his TED talk Why democracy is Failing, “[w]e need to begin to re engage the citizen and the only way we can do that…is to change the balance of power” (Ashdown, 14:04). How can a study of the Panamanian journey from dictatorship to democracy reflect the power of the media in this process?

  9. The United States involvement in Iraq and the greater Middle East has been ongoing since the late 1980’s. The challenges the United States has faced in attempting to mold the Middle East to its western ideas have been well documented. Through analysis of primary and secondary sources my paper aims to pinpoint whether political culture is the underlying issue. Is Middle eastern culture not compatible with western democracy? And why has this approach failed?

  10. When I saw what occurring in the city Marawi, which has been currently overrun by ISIS affiliates, it raised many questions for me. But the one that truly stood out was, with the world being interconnected through modern technology. Can something a similar occurrence, where ISIS influenced forces take over a city, happen within a fragile state? If one were to look at the country of Venezuela, for example, a country in turmoil. Are these fragile states susceptible to evil outside influences such as ISIS? My paper is going to focus on how nations such as the United States, delegate and help fragile states such as Venezuela. And what countries do to help out these fragile states from enduring even more chaos. Along with the exploration of how to prevent nations from becoming fragile states.

    1. Great, William. You raise some interesting questions. ISIS and Al Qaeda has inspired groups in countries with Muslim populations, as far as Nigeria and the Philippines. And other (non-religious) groups like FARC have controlled territory in Colombia…

  11. The connection between modernization and democracy. The foundation of my paper focuses on how they affect on one another and how they can be used in conjunction to benefit the system of democracy. I was really inspired by the prompt on Democracy and Democratization that was assigned a couple weeks ago and it got me thinking about democracy in present. In a system that was designed for inclusion, there still seems to be a disconnect between the people and its government in this era.Does democracy still matter? Can democracy evolve with modernization? These are the questions I am attempting to answer in my paper, as I explore our the effects that modernization has had on our society and our system of democracy.

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