Turn in the assignments by emailing them to me. Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due at midnight at the end of the day. The term paper is worth 60% of the course grade, broken down into several parts. Term papers are at least 4000 words long (about 16 pages), and explore in depth a political issue involving one or more countries in Western Europe, broadly defined. Components of the assignment are due in several steps, emailed to me. Assignments are due at midnight at the end of the specified day. In general, I mark papers down by 1 point for each day (or any fraction thereof) late, until about half the points are gone. Any paper may be turned in at any point in the semester for up to half-credit. For most assignments, any student who initially turned in the assignment on time may redo the assignment later for up to full credit with only a 1-point penalty (this does not apply to the “initial draft” and “final draft” assignments, which may not be made up).
Topic paragraph. 5%. Due February 12
Your paper can be about any political issue on the broad theme of the course; at least 50% of the empirical content of your paper must involve politics within the region of Western Europe. Historical topics are find as long as you can show them to have some relevance to understanding a Western European society today. Your geographic scope may be as wide or narrow as you wish, from a topic that considers the region as a whole down to a topic about one city or village, or anything in between. If your paper makes use of comparisons to political systems outside the region, or international ties outside the region, that's okay as long as 50% or more of the empirical content is Western European. (For example, a paper that compares, say, Brazil and France, and gives equal emphasis to each, would be fine.)
Topics may be motivated in different ways. For example:
Summaries of three scholarly, social scientific articles. 15%. Due February 23, March 1, and March 22.
A scholarly article has a hypothesis and evidence, and has been published in an academic journal. We will work on finding scholarly articles during a library session. I very strongly suggest that you check with me first to confirm that the articles you find are appropriate for this assignment, and to talk through ideas about what kinds of articles to look for.
In at least two pages per article describe, as precisely as possible, the following:
Case study draft. 5%. Due April 10.
A complete case study of one of your observations. For one of the cases you will use in the term paper, explain how you observe the independent and dependent variable. The case study must include a specific description of the variables and an explanation of how you operationalize them. Your case study should discuss the direction of cause and effect and the way in which you account for lurking variables. Come talk with me if you aren’t sure how to do this. Minimum 3 pages, and at least 4 references on the content of the case (that is, at least 4 different sources that provide specific information that you used for evidence about the case; these do not need to be scholarly articles).
Initial draft. 15%. Due April 19
Term papers are at least 4000 words long (about 16 pages), and include a thesis statement, facts and logic that support the thesis, and a reference section. You must properly cite at least eight sources, at least four of which must be published academic social science articles. An event you attend in DC can count as one of your sources but cannot count as a published social science article (even if the speaker is a social scientist). Your paper must include, in this order:
Class presentation. 5%. As assigned, in early May
Final draft. 20%. Due May 14
I will evaluate the papers using the same basic criteria as the initial draft but with a higher standard of quality. Papers must have a formal title, page numbers, and properly formatted citations. The final paper must be substantially revised from the draft, incorporating suggestions from feedback from the instructor and peers.