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Write a 4,000-word essay on the following assigned topic. (APA style) (at least 10 academic sources, Journal articles) Double-spaced. (no tables) (it should be critical not describtive) (has a clear thesis statement) 

It should demonstrate:

  • Ability to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of competing claims.
  • Ability to focus on the key issues of relevance with respect to the question asked.
  • Library (and possibly web-based) research, reaching well beyond the assigned course readings, applied to the topic.
  • Clear writing style, with sound spelling, grammar, and organization of content in a coherent and compelling manner.
  • Creative and thoughtful insight in relation to the questions asked.

Topic

Using Canada as your example, evaluate the impact of globalization on state sovereignty and the country’s capacity for autonomous policy-making.

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Given that the task at hand is to assess Canada’s experience with the pressures/forces/influences of globalization in relation to its capacity continue to make public policy decisions as a sovereign country, obviously you’re going to spend some time talking about how globalization has tended to manifest itself be it in the form of deregulation, policy harmonization, privatization, mass consumerism, technological diffusion, global monoculture, mass migration, etc. Moreover, because formal free trade agreements play such a crucial role in this sort of discussion, I think you’ll also want to take some time to clearly detail the theoretical/philosophical case for and against free trade—particularly with respect to the perceived costs and benefits of Canada’s associations with certain mechanisms of free trade like NAFTA and the WTO. Of course, while both NAFTA and the WTO serve as perhaps the most high profile and important examples of trade regimes which Canada is involved with; by no means do you have to restrict yourself to simply NAFTA and the WTO. For instance, if you refer to the following at link from DFAITD’s home page—

http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/index.aspx?lang=eng

—you will see Canada has either negotiated or is in the process of negotiating or is perhaps considering a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements beyond the two NAFTA and the WTO. So, feel free to explore some of these others if you so wish. For instance, Canada is currently in talks with the European Union for a free trade agreement between Canada and all of the EU members under the rubric of the EU and pending its approval, this arrangement could rival and perhaps surpass NAFTA in terms of size and scope. There is also the Trans Pacific Partnership which at the moment features 11 negotiating partners including all three members of NAFTA, Vietnam, New Zealand Chile and a growing list of other significant pan-pacific economies.

Finally, and this is just in the speculation stage at the moment, there is some suggestion that perhaps someday soon Canada and China might pursue a full-fledged free trade agreement that would certainly eclipse the scope of the recently negotiated FIPA (i.e. foreign investment promotion and protection agreement). So, as you can see when it comes to the big picture of Canada’s approach to international there are a lot of possibilities to consider besides simply NAFTA and the WTO—although you do want to concentrate on those two for sure.

Now because this is a third-year political science course when you’re figuring out how you’re going to an approach the task before you, you want to recognize that as important as it is for you to clearly summarize the theoretical case both for and against free trade; you also need to do some critical analysis here in the process. Most importantly, it is in this critical analysis from which your thesis is going to emerge. Of course, by thesis, I mean you want to have a central argument that runs throughout your paper. Or put another way, you want to have a “hook” to your paper, as the “hook” here isn’t that you’re going to offer a summary of the theoretical case both for and against free trade. Rather the “hook” of your paper you’re going to demonstrate is either that Canada’s capacity to function as autonomous political entity has remained unchanged (or perhaps even become emboldened) amid the influence of globalization (as well as why and how) OR if globalization has in fact impaired Canada’s capacity to function as an autonomous political entity you spend the remainder of your paper supporting this premise by explaining why and how. In other words, from the get go (i.e. your introduction) you want to clearly establish that you are going to discuss the state of Canadian sovereignty in the era of globalization—but before you move on from your introduction, you are going to take a compelling stand on this topic. It can be positive, negative, or even a mixed bag—it doesn’t matter so long as you’ve got some sort of underlying argument driving your paper.

So yes, the summary is very important. Yes, your analysis of the pros and cons is vital to the exercise, but you want to clearly draw a real argument here out of whatever analysis that falls between your thesis and conclusion.

To reiterate, it doesn’t matter to me where you stand in terms of your general assessment of Canadian sovereignty—you may think globalization has been the worst economic/social/cultural/technological/political phenomenon to ever happen to Canada or you may feel it has had little effect on Canada’s sovereignty or whatever effect it has had was worth the trade-off in economic growth. I grade with no political agenda in mind. I do however do want to see you exercise your skills in critical thought by presenting a clear, compelling thesis, and a well-structured organized discussion that obviously reflects the themes of the course material that we’ve studied this semester.

Once you have your thesis figured out, just remember a good thesis doesn’t necessarily have to be particularly complicated or abstract. All it has to do is capture the reader’s attention right off the bat in that you establish what you’re going to be up to in your paper and why it’s important for the reader to keep going. Because when you get down to it, a good thesis is really just a sentence or two where you make it abundantly clear to the reader that not only do you have something compelling and persuasive to say on the matter at hand, but that the pages that follow will further drive home this point.

As far as the main text of your paper, any tips I could offer might be to simply reiterate the essay instructions located under the “Essay” link in the “Assignment” section of the course’s Canvas web portal—particularly, the first 3, in that your essay should demonstrate a familiarity and clear understanding of the relevant texts and readings. You should show the ability to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of competing claims. You want to focus on the key issues of relevance with respect to the question being asked. To be sure, you want to do some library research as well as web research that reaches well beyond the assigned course readings. You want to write in a clear style with sound spelling grammar and organization of content. Finally, you want to employ a thoughtful and insightful approach to your writing in relation to the assignment question at hand.

One final point I would like to make in regard to your sources is that given that this is a 4000 word paper, you want to aim for 12 to 15 references in total. However many times you footnote or cite is always up to yourself, but you certainly want to ensure that you are giving proper credit where credit is due and you want to clearly demonstrate that your sources are actively informing your discussion as opposed to just having a list of sources at the end of your paper that you may or may not have consulted. Once again, it’s important here to consciously move beyond the course to material in the crafting of your discussion. Yes, you can use the course material here and there, but you don’t want to get into a situation where you are relying exclusively on the course reader, or the text or especially the study guide. The course material is certainly relevant to the question at hand, but part of the point of this exercise is your ability to show that you are capable of conducting independent, scholarly research under your own direction.

 Now, certainly given the size of the paper and the level of the course, you don’t have to completely restrict yourself to only the Canadian experience with globalization. After all, the subject matter is the concept of sovereignty, so naturally you can’t just talk about one country without some reference to other parties involved in the kinds of complex bilateral and multilateral arrangements we tend to associate with this discussion. But you should always keep in mind that Canada does make for an interesting case study for a question like this one, if only because of its size, its historical reliance on trade, its perpetual dependence on staples industries and the fact that this is a course that’s grounded in a Canadian perspective. So, if you do go “outside the lines” in referencing other countries so to speak, just make sure you are able to bring the conversation back to how the phenomenon of globalization ultimately unfolds in the Canadian experience


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