We are less than 100 days into the presidency of Donald J. Trump. And, in many respects, political scientist Elizabeth N. Saunders is proving to be spot on as it regards assessing the transition from presidential candidate, to president-elect, to president.
During the campaign, President Trump said that NATO is past its sell-by date, Japan and South Korea might develop their own defense disposition, relations with Russia should be reset, Syrias civil war is a lose-lose war theatre for the US, the Iran nuclear deal should be discarded, America should withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement, etc. Obviously, these issues look different from behind a desk in the Oval Officenot to mention with the ascent of foreign policy advisors reflecting the bipartisan mainstream of American foreign policy.
This said, however, the world is an uncertain place and who knows when President Trump will surprise us. (Surprise!) There are many places ripe for a presidential surprise. The Middle East is a complex place, and the US has a complex history there, not to mention natural resource interests. Africa, rich with resources yet rife with governance challenges and conflicts, is still (after colonialism) a site where major powers seek to displace African sovereignty. The South China Sea proves to be a possible point of conflict between the G2 even as Xi Dada champions the liberal world order in Davos, and Trump Dada suggests that China, maybe, sorta kinda, can be an American ally (eg, North Korea). Uncertainty abounds in the Indian Ocean as the tussle to achieve balance confronts hegemonic desire. And back here in the Americas, maybe that wall does not have to be as high, as expansive, and as expensive as promised on the campaign trail. After all, any wall in the Americas is a wall throughout the Americas?
In a paper of approximately 2,000 words (between 1,900 and 2,100 words), think about the world by doing the following: a) offer a quick assessment of a couple of themes emerging from our twirl around the world this semester; b) then pick an issue or geographic locale discussed this semester and analyze whats at stake; c) suggest how the issue, or contestation in your geographical locale of focus, will be resolved (if at all); d) finally, posit how your issue or the contest in your locale should be resolved. (Your normative should might reflect a feminist IR perspective, or a postcolonial perspective, or an America-first perspective.)
In addition to the above, your papers must have an introduction and conclusion used to make your politics clear.
No outside research is required. In fact, papers will preferably draw upon sources on the syllabus. That said, however, feel free to do a bit of outside research if this will help you make your case.
The double-spaced papers must have a bibliography and citations. Which bibliographic and citation form you use is not as important as starting and ending the paper with the same bibliographic and citation form.
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