Paper #1 - Democracy

Due Sunday, September 30, 11:59 p.m. emailed to

3-5 pages, double-spaced.

Assignment will be marked down for each day or fraction of a day late (that is, if you send it at 12:01 a.m. on October 1, it’s late). 

Students turning in papers containing plagiarism will fail the course.

Topic: Choose one potential economic or political reform in one of the following counties: Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan. Examples of reforms might include reforms to election laws, financial or banking regulations, or laws governing the media. Will a major political party in that country make a sustained effort to push that particular reform? Why or why not?

Your logic should be grounded in a logic of politics. That is, explain why a party would take on a reform project, not just whether the particular reform would be a good or bad idea. 

Sources: Your paper should refer to at least one assigned course reading plus at least four articles from mainstream news sources (The Economist, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, BBC, Wall Street Journal, etc.). The news sources you use must have been published after January 1, 2012. There is no need to research more extensive background material from books, government documents, etc. 

Sources must be cited properly, using a consistent citation format (e.g. MLA, APA, or Chicago).

Grades will be based on three things:
  • Writing. The paper must have a clear thesis, stated early. The rest of the paper should contain facts and logic that support the thesis, and should properly cite sources.
  • Analysis of  the particular issue. Who would reform help, and who would be hurt?
  • Analysis of politics. What motivates parties, and why will they be responsive, or not, on this one particular issue?
There is, of course, no one right answer to any of these questions; you will be graded on the thoughtfulness of your analysis. You should make a specific prediction in the paper, not advocate a particular policy. In other words, explain what parties will do, not what you think they should do.